Scaffolding plummets onto Downtown street after driver smashes into structure

Scaffolding plummets onto Downtown street after driver smashes into structure
Photo by Kevin Duggan

Scaffolding outside a Downtown building came crashing down on Tuesday, after a man smashed his sport-utility vehicle into the temporary wooden-and-metal structure on Cadman Plaza West, according to a Fire Department spokesman.

The motorist jumped the curb and drove onto the sidewalk along the Tillary Street–bound side of the road, before crashing into the scaffolding, which collapsed onto his car near Clark Street just after 2 pm, the spokesman said.

Roughly two dozen firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene, cordoning off the street and assisting the driver, who emerged from his vehicle unscathed, and refused medical attention, authorities said.

The driver allegedly told police that he was asleep in his parked car when the scaffolding fell on it, according to a bystander who didn’t see the incident occur, but claimed she heard the man telling police what happened after she was forced to evacuate her bus due to the crash.

“We were on the bus and the driver was with the cops. We heard him say that he was parked in his car asleep when the scaffolding fell on him, but it doesn’t look like that,” said Billi Martin.

But Martin questioned the driver’s account, especially considering most motorists know better than to park their cars on a sidewalk.

“If you were parked, you wouldn’t be parked on the sidewalk underneath the scaffolding where people walk,” she said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.