Read More »
In a bizarre turn of events, Dean Hart is slowly recuperating from his July 20 fall onto New York City subway tracks, but the firefighters who carried him to safety are reeling from critical injuries they suffered hours later when struck by a taxi.
Now, Hart, 48, is acting to help Manhattan Rescue 1 firefighters John Walters, 37, and Mike Schunk, 41, who helped him that day, by setting up scholarship funds for their families.
“Without them I would be a smear on the rail,” said Hart, whose collarbone and wrist were broken in the fall. “I’ll be fine. My arm and hand will heal. These guys will not be fine.”
On the day of the incident, Hart, heading uptown, was standing on the subway tracks at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue when he passed out from dehydration and fell. The firefighters carried Hart out of the station after a good Samaritan, Sonia Delgado, pulled him off the tracks.
A few hours later, Schunk and Walters were picking up dinner when a cab slammed into them. Schunk, of Long Beach, a 12-year FDNY veteran and the married father of a 2-year-old girl, had his right tibia broken, requiring that a rod be placed in his leg.
Walters, an 11-year veteran, had his right leg amputated after it was mangled in the accident. He remains in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, family members said.
No charges were filed against the taxi driver, Mohammed Ali Khamis, 45.
Hart, an optometrist, divides his time between Manhattan, where he teaches at Columbia University, and Hicksville, where he is a partner at Woodbury Optical Studio. He said he is happy to be alive and feels he got a second chance. “I feel a connection to them,” said Hart. “I feel horrible that they saved me and then something bad happened to them.”
view this new on Newsday http://www.ufanyc.org/cms/contents/view/2928Read More »
This is a nice bit news in a sad situation. You may remember that two firefighters from Rescue 1 were hit by a cab on the Upper West Side on July 20, with John Walters (pictured, far left) pinned in between the cab and the fire truck while Mike Schunk (left) was thrown onto the sidewalk. Walters had his right leg amputated and Schunk will need a metal rod placed in his right leg.
Earlier that day, they had helped Dean Hart who fainted and fell into the subway tracks at the 57th Street B/D/E subway station (another commuter, Sonia Delgado, actually pulled him off the tracks). Now Hart tells Newsday that he’s setting up scholarship funds for Walters’ and Schunk’s families. Hart says, “Without them I would be a smear on the rail. I’ll be fine. My arm and hand will heal. These guys will not be fine.”Read More »
An elite firefighter who was badly hurt in a taxi crash helped take part in the rescue of a man who had fallen onto subway tracks just hours earlier.
Mike Schunk, 41, was in stable condition yesterday at New York Hospital – the same hospital where the man he helped save was recuperating – after undergoing surgery on his broken right leg, officials said.
His squad mate, John Walters, 37, was in critical condition after 12 hours of surgery at Bellevue Hospital to repair his legs, which were crushed in the Wednesday accident, officials said.
Schunk is “doing really well. His spirits are good. He is expected to have a good recovery,” said his wife, Veronica Schunk, who brought their 2-year-old daughter, Bridget, to the hospital to see her daddy for the first time since the accident.
Mayor Bloomberg visited both firefighters yesterday.
Schunk – a 12-year veteran who has been with Rescue 1 for four years – had responded at 5:30 p.m. when Dean Hart, 48, of Jericho, L.I., had fallen onto the tracks at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue after a seizure.
A good Samaritan, Sonia Delgado, pulled Hart up, saving him from a train.
Schunk then helped carry Hart on a stretcher to an ambulance and to New York Hospital.
At 10:30 p.m., Walters and Schunk were hurt when a cab slammed into them as they walked behind their double-parked rig on Columbus Avenue at West 71st Street after stopping to pick up dinner.
Walters was pinned between the cab and the truck, and Schunk was tossed to the ground.
The cabby, Mohamed Ali Khamis, 45, of Manhattan, told investigators he was cut off by a car and forced to swerve into the lane where the truck was parked, sources said.
There were no skid marks at the scene, and it appeared Khamis did not slow down.
Khamis has a clean driving record. No summonses were issued, and police said they had no reason to believe the incident was anything but an accident.
But that did little to comfort Schunk and Walters’ fellow firefighters, some of whom watched as their squad mates were run down.
“The cab didn’t even brake! It’s ridiculous how they drive in this city,” said one firefighter visiting Walters at Bellevue.
“Schunk is a firefighter’s firefighter. He’s third generation, and he almost gets taken out by a cabdriver. Walters and he are two good men.”
Others said Schunk is the squad’s best cook, and is known for his linguini with clam sauce.
Walters, who is married with no children, worked hard to make a good impression with his new squad mates, they said. An 11-year veteran, he had been assigned to Rescue 1 six months ago, on loan from Engine 288 in Queens.Read More »