Four People Injured in Taxi Accident Near Columbia University
By Leslie Albrecht and Michael Ventura
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Four people were injured Thursday morning when a minivan taxi cab overturned after colliding with a Volvo near Columbia University, fire officials said.
The crash happened at the intersection of West 120th Street and Broadway just before 11 a.m., the FDNY said.
The impact of the collision sent the minivan cab flying into the air before it came to rest on its side on West 120th Street just east of Broadway, witnesses said.
The cab's passenger, a female Columbia University student, was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, officials said, but her injuries did not appear serious.
Columbia University's in-house emergency medical service responded to the accident and treated the student before she was taken to the hospital, a university security officer at the scene said.
The cab driver was trapped inside his taxi for about 25 minutes until emergency responders cut him out and pulled him to safety through the cab's windshield, said Said Nasri, who works at a donut cart at the intersection.
"It was hard to get him out, he was in there for a long time," Nasri said.
The cabbie was taken to St. Luke's Hospital with moderate injuries, FDNY said.
The driver and passenger of the red Volvo station wagon weren't seriously injured and refused medical attention at the scene, FDNY said.
Adam Nagorski, 30, said he was driving the Volvo northbound on Broadway when the cab "appeared out of nowhere."
"I assume he was trying to make a left turn but I don't think he even stopped," Nagorski said of the cab driver.
His wife, Monika Nagorski, 24, was visibly shaken by the wreck.
"I'm in shock," she said. "I've never had a car accident, ever."
Columbia students in the school's recently opened Northwest Corner building watched the accident scene from the building's second-floor cafe, which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the intersection.
Late Thursday morning the NYPD flipped the taxi back onto its wheels.
"It looks like that car got attacked by Godzilla," a firefighter at the scene said of the crumpled taxi.
The front end of the Volvo was smashed, but the rest of the vehicle appeared to be mostly unscathed.
"It's not even damaged," said a Columbia university security officer at the scene. "That's the car I want. That's what I want to put my family in."