Dr. Oz rushes to help tourist hit by New York taxi

Posted at 7:35 PM, Aug 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-21 12:09:58-04
By Erinn Cawthon


(CNN) — TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz attempted to offer more than just health guidance on a busy street in Manhattan on Tuesday morning after a taxi jumped a curb and hit a pedestrian and a cyclist.

The accident happened at 49th Street and Sixth Avenue — home to Rockefeller Center and near Radio City Music Hall and Saks Fifth Avenue — around 11 a.m. A British tourist was struck and her right leg was severed above her foot and below the knee, according to New York City police.

She was sent to Bellevue Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery to try to reattach her right leg, police said. A bicyclist was also struck but was treated at the scene.

Oz, the host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” was getting ready for a shoot when he and his team heard emergency vehicles rushing to the scene, according to Tim Sullivan, representative of the Dr. Oz show. Their offices are about a block away from the accident.

Oz and students from the medical staff on the show ran to the accident, but by the time they arrived, paramedics were already on the scene assisting the injured tourist, according to Sullivan.

A good Samaritan walking by was able to use his belt as a tourniquet until paramedics arrived, according to Sullivan.

“David Justino, a plumber from New York, took action, removing his belt and using it as a tourniquet,” Oz said in a Facebook post. “My prayers are with the victim for a speedy recovery.” He posted a photo of himself and Justino on Facebook.

The bicyclist, who did not want his name used, told CNN affiliate WCBS that the cab driver was trying to make a turn.

“He didn’t want to stop. I told him to stop, he got angry because I told him to stop, so he deliberately accelerated his car,” the bicyclist told WCBS. “He went through me, through the bike, through the lady and through the grass over there. I was on the roof of the car and I got thrown about 30 feet into the bushes. I get back up, the lady, she’s unconscious with her leg cut off.”

Police said the incident seemed like an accident.

Oz told CNN affiliate PIX11 that when he arrived, the belt had been tied to the woman’s leg and he was just trying to tighten it to stop the bleeding. The cab driver was in a daze and very emotional, Oz said.

Another good Samaritan, Max Crespo, a pizza truck owner, put the woman’s amputated leg in a bucket of ice until paramedics arrived, according to WCBS.

Oz praised “Plumber Dave” as a hero in the accident.

“Plumber Dave, who’s an average Joe, an average Dave, walking along the streets, saved her life,” Oz told PIX11.

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