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SUV Falls on Firefighter During NYC Rescue

Bystanders helped free him from under vehicle
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2022 4:53 PM CDT

A New York City firefighter was seriously injured Sunday afternoon while trying to rescue the occupants of a BMW SUV that had become lodged on top of a Volvo sedan. As firefighters tried to stabilize the SUV, "the driver of one of the vehicles hit the gas and caused a car to fall and pin firefighter Ryan Warnock below," Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said in a statement. Bystanders and other firefighters rushed to help and lifted the BMW long enough for firefighter Warnock to be rescued, Fox reports. Warnock was hospitalized in serious but stable condition with leg injuries.

"You could tell that when they pulled him out, he was definitely in pain, just grabbing his leg, he was in pain, but everyone clapped him, cheered him on when he was on the way to the ambulance because he's a true hero," witness Ben Arias, who helped lift the SUV, tells CBS. "That's a real New York hero right there." Nobody else was injured in the midtown Manhattan incident, which is being investigated. Volvo driver Matthew Wahn says they were "stopped at the light, just sitting in the car, and we feel a car drive up on the side of our vehicle. You didn't expect that."

"It's a miracle that we both came out of this without a scratch," says Wahn's wife, Randi. The BMW driver and his son were also rescued unharmed. Last week, Warnock was part of the team that rescued survivors from a Hudson River boat crash. "You just have a job to do and you do it, and we trained for this and that's why we're here," he told reporters afterward. (More FDNY stories.)

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