Dr. Oz Helps Good Samaritans Aid Woman Hit by Cab Near Rockefeller Center
MANHATTAN — Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, a plumber and a pizza truck owner out with his supermodel girlfriend teamed up to help a woman whose legs were smashed by a runaway yellow cab near Rockefeller Center Tuesday morning, witnesses said.
Sian Green, a 23-year-old British tourist, was eating hot dogs with a friend on a stone planter on Sixth Avenue near 49th Street across from Rockefeller Center when the yellow cab came careening onto the sidewalk, witnesses said.
Oz, a heart surgeon and professor of surgery at Columbia University, saw the crash from his window in Studio 6A where he tapes his show, and rushed out to help, an NBC spokesman said.
Oz adjusted a tourniquet that plumber Dave Justino, 44, who was on a smoke break from a job at a nearby Duane Reade, made for Green's severed left leg using his own belt.
"Stop the leak. That's what I had to do," the plumber told DNAinfo.
Oz praised Justino, a married father of two, for taking quick action to protect what remained of the woman's left leg, which witnesses said was severed beneath the knee.
"The real hero in this is plumber Dave," Oz told the Wall Street Journal.
"My prayers are with the young woman injured," Oz later wrote on his Facebook page, "David Justino ... a plumber from New York, took action, removing his belt and using it as a tourniquet. With the help of NYC first responders, who are the best in the world, the woman was treated and rushed to a local hospital. I applaud the quick thinking and heroic actions of David and the first responders."
Food truck vender, Max Crespo, said he used a dog leash to tourniquet Green's damaged right leg before putting the lower half of her severed leg into ice to preserve it for doctors.
"I picked up the leg and put it in a cooler of ice," said Crespo, who owns Neopolitan Express, a pizza truck parked near the intersection.
"We were just telling her, 'Everything is going to be OK. Help is on the way," he added.
Crespo, who was with his girlfriend, supermodel Heide Lindgren at the time of the crash, praised a nurse at the scene who directed the emergency response while they waited for EMS crews to arrive.
Witnesses said Green was laying belly down on the sidewalk while people tried to help her.
Mohamed Elsayed, 48, a hot dog vendor who works nearby, said Green and her friend had just bought hot dogs from him and sat down on a nearby stone ledge when the cab came hurtling toward them.
Elsayed said after the crash, he helped security guards pack her severed leg into ice.
Green was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where doctors worked to reattach the limb, cops said. She was listed in stable condition, according to an NYPD spokesman.
A 40-year-old bicyclist, whom reports identified as Kenneth Olivo, was treated at the scene. His right knee was bandaged after the incident.
The cyclist was riding up Sixth Avenue alongside the cab when the motorist tried to make a left onto 49th Street about 11 a.m., the cyclist said.
"I told him, 'Stop,'" said the cyclist, who banged on the hood. "He gets angry. He honked his horn and accelerates."
The cyclist said he was then knocked onto the hood of the cab, and was carried along as the cab swerved up onto the sidewalk.
Driver Mohammed F. Himon was issued a summons for being unauthorized to drive on that taxi's medallion number, police said. He could not be reached of comment.
The owner of the cab, NYC Taxi Group, of Kensington, was also issued a summons for using an unauthorized driver and one for having incorrect fare information. When reached by phone, the fleet company declined to comment.
With reporting by Alan Neuhauser, Patrick Wall, Tom Liddy, Seth Maxon, Janon Fisher