Sanitation Worker Shocked by Downed Wire on Storm-Ravaged Staten Island
STATEN ISLAND — A Sanitation Department worker was hospitalized after being shocked by a downed electrical wire Sunday morning in one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, officials said.
Michael Lewery, 46, was removing a refrigerator from the curb in front of 220 Milton Ave. in New Dorp Beach about 10:25 a.m. when he was shocked and fell to the ground, witnesses and officials said.
Lewery, who has worked for the Sanitation Department for 13 years, was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was in stable condition, officials said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg commended Lewery for reporting to work Sunday even though his New Dorp home was severely damaged in the storm.
"That did not keep him from serving his fellow New Yorkers and Staten Islanders," Bloomberg said.
Residents had spotted the downed wire before Sunday, and Michael Erzingher, 50, said he put the refrigerator in front of his Milton Avenue house to stop people from walking near it.
"The ground was wet, the tree was wet, someone was going to get zapped and that's what happened," Erzingher said.
Artur Korzyk, 55, who lives across the street, heard neighbors screaming, "Someone call 911!" He raced over and covered the victim with blankets.
"He couldn't move, but he was conscious," Korzyk said. "He was shaking. You could tell he was in the beginning of shock, but it looked like he was going to be okay."
The worker did not have any visible burns, witnesses said.