A Red Hook Chinese restaurant delivery guy is fighting for his life in the hospital after a tree fell on his head as workers were chopping it down on Monday afternoon.
The man was riding his motorized bicycle on a pathway inside Coffey Park between Dwight and Richards streets around 1 pm as two parks department contractors were pruning and removing trees there that had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy, according to fire and parks officials. The tree-loppers — one of whom one was in a cherry picker and another who was on the ground — yelled at the cyclist to steer clear of the plummeting timber, but the weighty trunk nevertheless landed on top of him, according to an onlooker.
“They were trying to stop him,” said Khadija James, who didn’t see the tree fall but witnessed the aftermath from her 12th-floor apartment on Dwight Street, and said she could hear the contractors’ screams for help clear into her bedroom. “I saw him when he was down on the ground, and you heard them screaming, ‘Please call 911.’ ”
Paramedics found the victim bleeding profusely and bandaged his head, James said, before taking him to Methodist Hospital.
Workers cutting down trees are supposed to cordon off the area with traffic cones, caution tape, and someone on the ground warning people away, a parks department spokeswoman said. But James claims the workers in the park were only taking the third precaution, and the man on the ground was distraught after the disaster.
“One of the guys — the guy who actually saw it fall on him — he lost it,” she said. “They were emotionally a mess.”
The victim works for an eatery on Van Brunt Street, James said, and is popular amongst residents of her building, where he is known as “the Chinese delivery guy.”
“He was the sweetest guy in the world,” she said. “When everybody found out he was injured, we were all so sad.”