A postal worker who was struck by a car as he was standing outside his truck on Long Island remained in critical condition Tuesday night as police said they would charge the driver who hit him.
The mail carrier was loading mail into a bag outside the back of a U.S. Postal Service truck on Prairie Drive in North Babylon Tuesday afternoon when another car hit him from behind, Suffolk police say.
The car, a Lincoln Continental, then struck the mail truck and a fire hydrant before slamming into a telephone pole, police said.
"I heard one boom, and a couple seconds later, I heard a second boom," said Jason Leslie, who was inside his home at the time. A nurse at Jamaica Hospital, he ran out to help the injured postman.
"His leg was completely severed. It was about 10 feet from him, I'd say," he said. "He was conscious. He said, 'Call my wife, call my wife.'"
A state police helicopter arrived on the scene to transport the mailman to Stony Brook University Hospital. Police described his condition as critical on Tuesday night.
The postman's bag and letters he was about to deliver were strewn on the street after the crash.
The driver of the Lincoln stayed on the scene and was questioned by police for more than an hour. He was later charged with reckless driving.
It's not clear what caused the crash, but people living in the area say speeding is a constant problem. Leslie said it's so bad that he bought a speed gun and has clocked cars traveling will beyond the speed limit.
"I'm getting guys in the high 70s now regularly," he said. "It's a 30 mile-an-hour speed limit."
Neighbors say the victim is an "awesome" mailman who has worked the route for years.
"I'm just sick to my stomach over this," said Eileen Develgio.