A jaw-dropping video captured the heroic moment a group of good Samaritans lifted a taxi of two women who got stuck underneath as the driver ran up the curb.
The reckless driver had crashed into the wall of the Black Seed Bagels cafe with the two pedestrians trapped under the 2.25 tonne vehicle and four others injured.
Footage of the incident, which left three in critical condition, shows the moment witnesses gathered to lift the ‘yellow cabs’ at 1186 Broadway between West 29th and West 28th streets around 1 p.m. on June 20 .
One of the 10 to 15 people who helped the trapped women, named Marcos De Ogueta, was doing construction work on the new Ritz-Carlton hotel and residence halls on the NoMad block when he heard of the crash.
The construction worker claimed the women were “not screaming or talking – they were just completely shocked and staring at us”.
He added that one of the victims had lost a leg below the knee and the ankle of her other leg had been mutilated, while the other woman had lost most of her thigh.
However, the heroic group had managed to free the women before emergency services arrived on the scene after telling the driver to get out of the vehicle.
The guy was said to be “just sitting in his seat with his hands on the wheel” of the yellow Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid in “complete shock” before someone knocked on the window and told him the plan.
Marcos added: “He finally got out, took a few steps, then passed out.”
Another witness, truck driver Kader Issoufou, 45, said he saw the driver run over a cyclist before hitting diners.
Issoufou explained: “He cut the corner and went into the bike path, then he lost control and hit the sidewalk.
“He hit the cyclist first, then he hit the people who were eating. Everyone rushed in and lifted the taxi from the two women stuck underneath.”
“A woman’s legs have disappeared. They were all mutilated. A guy took his belt off and tied it around his leg to try and stop the bleeding.
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Firefighters and paramedics treated the patients at the scene and rushed them to Bellevue Hospital, but they have not yet been identified by police.
NYPD Chief John Chell said at a press conference after the accident: “At this time it appears to be an accident, but our highway investigation team is here and they’ll find out exactly what happened.”
The identity of the driver has not been released.