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City Parks Dept. Truck Hits, Injures Woman Biking With Her Puppy in Queens

By Natalie Musumeci | August 22, 2014 6:09pm
 A Parks Department garbage truck (not pictured) struck a woman and her 5-month-old Pomeranian in Queens on Aug. 21, 2014, officials said.
A Parks Department garbage truck (not pictured) struck a woman and her 5-month-old Pomeranian in Queens on Aug. 21, 2014, officials said.
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Getty Images/Anthony Baggett

QUEENS — A woman and her 5-month-old Pomeranian were hospitalized Thursday after they were struck by a Parks Department sanitation truck in Corona, officials said.

The woman was bicycling with her puppy named Charlie inside a backpack when they were hit by the garbage truck at 5:10 p.m. at 104th Street and 43rd Avenue, an FDNY spokesman said.

The woman was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition and the puppy suffered three fractures and substantial bleeding, according to the FDNY.

Sources said that the woman was riding with her dog the wrong way on a one-way street, weaving through traffic when the truck hit her as it was turning.

FDNY officials said that firefighters from Engine 289 and Ladder 138 “made a dramatic, and unusual rescue” in “saving the lives” of the woman and her pup after they were hit, according to a post on the FDNY website.

Firefighters were on their way to a water main break at the time of the crash when they were flagged down on 43rd Avenue, officials said. The woman was found lying on the street and members of Ladder 138 found the bloodied puppy nearby.

“It sounds cliché, but he’s literally looking up at you with those sad puppy dog eyes and your heart goes out to it,” said Lt. Michael Decollibus.

The firefighters took the pooch to a veterinarian a few blocks away. They placed the injured dog in an open-top cardboard box and a firefighter carried it on his lap in the truck.

The veterinarian said she couldn’t treat the dog due to its poor condition and suggested that they take Charlie to BluePearl Veterinary Partners Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Forest Hills.

Doctors there said that the pup was expected to make a full recovery since it had no internal bleeding.

Officials said that after the accident, firefighters brought the woman’s bike and her brother’s, who was riding with her at the time of the crash, but was not injured, to the firehouse.

The woman’s brother told firefighters that his sister sustained minor injuries in the accident when he came to pick up the bikes. He expressed his gratitude to the firefighters for saving the pup, officials said.

“It certainly makes you feel good to know we could help the poor helpless dog,” said Decollibus. “It’s what we’re supposed to do. A life is a life.”

Parks watchdog blog A Walk in the Park first reported the incident.

The Parks Department, which is conducting an accident review, could not immediately provide any other details on the incident or the driver.