By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Three people were hospitalized when a taxi collided with an ambulance heading to an emergency call at the corner of Central Park West and W. 96th Street Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The taxi driver and two passengers, a man and a woman, were taken by a second ambulance to St. Luke's Hospital after the crash at around 3:45. p.m.
The ambulance, with two paramedics inside, had its lights and sirens on as it drove eastbound on W. 96th Street. The ambulance slowed down as it approached Central Park West, but still slammed into the taxi, which was headed north, police said.
Firefighters had to use the jaws of life to extricate the cabbie from the wreckage of his yellow cab.
"The firemen popped open the doors and the glass just flew out," said a witness. "It was like a fizzy bottle."
The witness saw the male taxi passenger sitting on the curb holding his head after the crash.
There was no immediate word on the conditions of the victims.
The FDNY ambulance was on its way to an emergency call at the time of the crash, officials said.