February 16, 2005 -- The driver of a car horribly mangled in a Brooklyn crash with an FDNY ladder truck says he was incredibly lucky to emerge from the wreckage with only scrapes and bruises.
"I seriously did not think I was going to make it," Eilan Step, 28, a Brooklyn real-estate agent, said last night. "I was lucky."
Step was returning to work after buying coffee when the truck smashed into him. He was treated and released from Lutheran Hospital.
His gray Nissan Altima was crumpled like aluminum foil when it was sandwiched between the firetruck and a delivery truck.
Step said it looked as if the truck was going too fast.
"I thought [the firetruck] was going to flip over until the time he went into me," he said.
Officials said the truck, from Ladder 153, was responding to an alarm at the St. Simon & St. Jude School on Avenue T at Van Sicklen Street at about 12:20 p.m. yesterday when it hit the car.
The firetruck had its lights flashing and siren on as it raced south down Ocean Parkway.
It had the green light as it made a right turn onto Avenue T, where the Nissan was waiting at a red light.
The car was clipped by the firetruck and pushed backward into a large white delivery truck, whose occupants also sustained minor injuries, officials said.
Step said he's blaming only the firefighter who drove the truck.
"I'm upset at the driver," he said. "I'm not upset at the Fire Department, because these are people who risk their lives every day."
Witnesses said Step was alert and talking on his cellphone as rescuers used the Jaws of Life tool to cut him out of the wreckage. They were amazed that he wasn't more seriously hurt.
"Look at that car