STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) – An MTA police officer was hospitalized after crashing his cruiser into the back yard of a Staten Island home on Friday.
Timothy Ruvithas was in the driveway of his Staten Island home working on his car when all of a sudden he heard a boom. An MTA Bridges and Tunnels police officer crashed into a pole off of Narrows Road North near Clifton Avenue, went through a fence and landed upside down in his back yard.
“That pole was snapped and floating in the air. They said that was the first thing he hit. He completely swiped that fence,” said Ruvithas.
The residents of the home weren’t hurt, but the officer had to be taken to a hospital where he is now recovering from his injuries.
Ruvithas said it was unclear if anyone was still inside the vehicle at first. “We were trying to look for him because obviously someone had to be driving that car and nobody came out. About a minute later someone crawled out,” Ruvithas said.
Ruvithas said he ran to help the officer and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “Even when the airbags were deployed, he squeezed his way under, came out and then just laid next to the car,” Ruvithas said. “He was definitely awake. He was actually crouching. He just wasn’t responding to what I was saying. He said he couldn’t see.”
That’s when the onlookers stepped in. Home security video showed Ruvithas and another person carrying the injured officer to the front of the home while awaiting first responders. The officer was rushed to a local hospital. Authorities said he is expected to survive.
The officer, who patrols the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge area, was attempting to make a traffic stop when the crash happened, according to the MTA. He was the only one in the vehicle at the time.
Neighbors said speeding is a problem in the area. “I almost just got hit. They speed over here. They need some kind of barricade,” said neighbor Frank Ramunni.
PIX11 News reached out to the Department of Transportation to see if they are looking into any complaints in the area and if anything is being done.
The back yard of the home was still filled with debris Saturday, but residents are just happy that no lives were lost.
“He definitely had some broken things on him, but that’s pretty much the best outcome,” Ruvithas said.