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Worker fatally falls from cherry picker when hit by truck in Queens: police

Posted at 4:53 AM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 04:54:50-04

ELMHURST, Queens — A worker is dead after falling from a cherry picker he was working in when a truck struck it early Thursday in Queens, police said.

Jose Polanco, 59, was nearly 20 feet off the ground, working on a traffic light in the bucket of the crane, at the intersection of Goldsmith Street and Grand Avenue in Elmhurst, authorities said.

Just before 3 a.m., a box truck driving by collided with the bucket of the cherry picker, causing Polanco inside to fall, according to the FDNY.

The 59-year-old man was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest, where he later died, officials said.

Polanoc's co-worker on the scene told PIX11 exclusively that the victim was a "great guy," and did "good work."

Police said the 56-year-old driver of the box truck remained on the scene.

After being given a breathalyzer test, the truck driver was allowed to leave and is not being arrested at this time, police said.

The victim worked for Welsbach Electric, a company that fixes traffic lights around the city.

PIX11's Anthony DiLorenzo got surveillance footage that appears to show the moments leading up to the truck striking the crane.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with the victim's name. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the victim worked for Weisbach Electric.