The New York Daily News reports a firefighter, trapped for two hours in the overturned Ladder 107, gave a thumbs up to a cheering crowd as he was pulled from the wreckage two hours after the collision. As many as 12 firefighters were hurt after Engine 236 and Ladder 107 met at Hedgeman Street and Ashford Avenue in East New York. Another firefighter was freed from the rig earlier.
The collision occurred just after 9:30 AM. Here are excerpts from a New York Post article by John Doyle, Georgett Roberts, and Angela Montefinise :
The two trucks – from Engine 236 and Ladder 107 – were heading to the call at 762 Warwick St. in East New York when the engine truck (do they mean the engine?) T-boned the other at the intersection of Ashford Street and Hegeman Avenue around 9:38 a.m., officials said.
Ladder 107, which was heading north on Ashford, flipped on to its side. Its back end landed on top of a parked minivan, crushing it, and its front end ended up wedged into a tree, witnesses said.
“It went up in the air. I could see the wheels. It spun and then it slammed down on its side and then it slid and stopped wrapped in the tree,” said Everett Groves, 63, a superintendent of a nearby building. “It seemed like he was trying to slam on the brakes but it was going too fast and it could not stop. To think you could turn that thing over.”
The other rig – which had been going west on Hegeman — sped into the front lawn of a nearby home.
“I heard one firefighter yelling, ahhhh,” said witness Everton Brown. “After [the ladder truck] flipped, the one standing on the back flew off the truck and landed on his face. He walked back and sat on the other truck. Then guys from both trucks got out and started to help.”
In all, 13 were hurt. The Fire Department said that 12 were hospitalized — four with serious leg injuries and eight with minor injuries. The other was treated at the scene. No civilians were hurt.
The two firefighters with the most serious leg injuries, Lt. Kevin Washington and the truck’s driver, Robert Pupa, were taken to Brookdale Hospital where they were expected to live.
“They are probably just fractures, but they are going through tests right now,” said a fire department official. “The guys are alert and talking.”