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Man killed after car hits Willets Pt. shop

Police tow away a vehicle authorities say careened into a Willets Point auto shop, killing one worker and injuring two more. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
TimesLedger Newspapers

Minutes after a car smashed into a Willets Point body shop Tuesday afternoon, killing one worker and injuring two others, police said, a motorist raced to the bloody scene to give crucial medical attention.

A 52-year-old driver plowed his 1992 Toyota Corolla into New Pamir Auto Body Shop in Willets Point across from Citi Field at about 11:45 a.m., police said, killing a 33-year-old man and possibly severing both legs of another.

Moments before, the man allegedly rear-ended a black Mercedes-Benz while traveling southbound on 126th Avenue, according to police. The Toyota then crossed the double yellow line, sailed through the northbound lane of traffic and careened toward the shop, at 35-01 126th St., cops said.

The car first struck a 30-year-old employee standing on the sidewalk, identified as Alex by the shop’s owner. According to bystanders, one or both of the worker’s legs were severed by the impact.

The Toyota then struck a support beam at one corner of the body shop’s entrance, bending it inward. The car entered the garage, where it hit two cars and two mechanics working there, police and witnesses said.

One of those men was killed, according to police. The other employee also sustained injuries, cops said. Both cars remained at the scene, the NYPD said.

All three men were taken to New York Hospital Queens, according to the FDNY, where the 33-year-old was pronounced dead, the 30-year-old was listed in critical condition and a 34-year-old man was listed in serious but stable condition.

“I almost fainted,” said the shop’s owner, who identified himself as Pamir. “I’ve never seen an accident like this.”

The man who was pronounced dead at the hospital had several children as did the man whose legs were injured, said Zach Arzo, co-owner of the body shop.

“I just finished cleaning up the blood,” he said, visibly shaken by the incident.

Pamir said the driver of the Mercedes, who was involved in the initial crash, rushed over to help the injured and may have saved the 30-year-old man’s life by tying a tourniquets around at least one of his bleeding legs.

“Like a hero, he helped,” Pamir said.

The Good Samaritan was identified as Jim Hart by the New York Post.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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