Sunday, June 2, 2013

Car Plunges 20 Feet, Sunday Morning Before Morning Coffee

On Sunday, June 2, around 7:20 AM while most were still in bed preparing for another scorcher of a day a Toyota Prius took a 20 foot swan dive from an elevated parking structure in Great Neck Plaza. Landing about 10 feet short of the NYC-bound LIRR tracks on the Port Washington Branch.

The Vehicle landed on its roof, the driver was able to open his door and climb out with minor injuries. All Photos Courtesy of M. Glucksman

The driver stated that the accelerator had been stuck in the open position and he could not stop the car. Luckily, the driver removed himself from the vehicle and was able to climb up the embankment with minor injuries.

About 10 feet from the LIRR tracks the driver was very lucky the car did not slide in front of a moving train.
Courtesy of M. Glucksman
What made this incident complicated and interesting was the proximity to the LIRR tracks in Great Neck. Working with local Nassau County Police, Emergency Services Unit, MTA Police and the Nassau County Fire Marshal's HazMat Team, a local tow truck driver was able to drag the vehicle up the embankment and onto stable ground. LIRR service between Port Washington and Bayside was suspended while the rescue and recovery operation was underway.

The Skill of the tow truck operator guided by NCPD ESU was clear as they lifted the vehicle back onto level ground.
Courtesy of M. Glucksman
Thankfully, for the driver the car stopped approximately 2/3 of the way down the hill before it landed on the LIRR tracks possible in font of a Westbound Train.
Courtesy of M. Glucksman

Had the car been any larger or heavier the LIRR would have most likely needed to use a track mounted crane to pick up the car off of the hill and remove it to a safe area.

Courtesy of M. Glucksman
This was a true definition of teamwork and interoperability. 2 police agencies, the local fire department, MTA track supervision and the local tow company came together to resolve this unusual incident in less than 2 hours. 

Courtesy of M. Glucksman
Great Neck Plaza Building Inspectors were notified to inspect the damage to the retaining wall and other possible structural damage to the park structure. This was one of 12 calls the Vigilant Fire Company receive during an unusually busy 24 hour period in Great Neck.
Courtesy of M. Glucksman