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Truck stop: Man pulled from dangling vehicle

A New York City sanitation truck lost control

A New York City sanitation truck lost control inside a Maspeth maintenance facility on 52nd Road Wednesday morning and crashed through the building's exterior wall. The driver of the truck dangled precariously from the third floor inside the cab of the salt-spreader until firefighters arrived and picked him from the truck. Numerous city agencies were on the scene and officials were busy discussing the best way to remove the vehicle. The driver was shaken but not seriously injured. Transported to Elmhurst Hospital. Cars crushed below but no occupants. Credit: Lou Minutoli

New York City firefighters made an unusual rescue -- perhaps one-of-a-kind -- on Wednesday morning, plucking a mechanic from the cab of a salt spreader that was dangling three stories above a Queens street after it crashed through an exterior wall of the Sanitation Department's central repair shop.

Firefighters from Tower Ladder 163 got the alarm at 9:28 a.m. and rushed to 52nd Road in Maspeth, where Robert Legall, 56, was trapped in the cab of the salt spreader, a Fire Department spokesman said.

They pulled him to safety, and he was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, the spokesman said.

Legall is a 10-year veteran with "a good record," Sanitation Department spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said.

The orange truck was first thought to be a Sanitation Department vehicle, but Dawkins said it a Department of Correction truck that was being serviced at the Sanitation Department shop.

Police said Wednesday morning they are trying to figure out how the truck ended up going through the wall, and the Department of Sanitation said it was still investigating.

Cranes were on the scene by early afternoon to help remove the truck and debris.

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