A car wash worker was hospitalized with serious injuries Saturday afternoon after being struck by a sport utility vehicle leaving Splash Car Wash on West Putnam Avenue in Pemberwick.
The man's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to emergency responders at the scene of the crash at the 625 W. Putnam Ave. car wash.
The worker was standing near a Volvo S60 sedan and a Ford Explorer SUV, which were both parked after having left the car wash bays, at about 1:10 p.m. when a Lexus SUV apparently drove toward the man and the vehicles, a police officer at the scene said. The officer declined to identify himself.
The Lexus struck the car wash employee, sideswiped both vehicles and continued through the parking lot before coming to rest in the southbound lane of East Weaver Street.
A Splash worker, who noted that the woman at the wheel of the Lexus was driving fast, said the worker who was hit was fortunate to have escaped more serious injuries.
"He's a lucky guy; that lady was flying," Brian Sargeant said. "It was definitely unsettling. That could be any one of us."
Sargeant, who was on his lunch break when the crash occurred, said he immediately rushed to see if the Lexus driver was injured.
"I went over there to see if she was OK and she said she was stuck in gear," the 42-year-old said.
The woman, who wasn't identified by police, was taken to hospital to be checked.
Another person involved in the multi-vehicle collision was taken to hospital for observation. The person's involvement in the crash could not be determined.
Sargeant said that after he attended to the female driver, he saw his co-worker lying on the parking lot.
Police said the car wash worker suffered injuries to his right leg and the right side of his upper body. Sargeant said he also appeared to have a cut to his head.
The collision bent the front passenger door of the Volvo forward in the wrong direction, and there was significant damage to the right side of the Explorer. The front end of the Lexus was badly damaged and its airbags were deployed.
Greenwich Fire Department and Greenwich Emergency Medical Services personnel also responded to Splash Car Wash, which is next door to a Mobil gas station at the Greenwich Convenience Mart. The two businesses are at the intersection of East Weaver Street and West Putnam Avenue, about a half-mile from the New York State line.
About 20 Splash workers -- with nothing to do as police closed off the scene to motorists -- milled around the car wash during the accident cleanup and investigation, some of them taking photographs with their cellphones.
A couple of workers continued to work, with one man wiping down another parked vehicle while a worker cleaned up inside one of the bays.
Information on any charges stemming from the crash or the identities of the people involved were not available Saturday.
In a similar accident nine years ago at the same car wash, a 73-year-old Splash worker was struck by a Jeep that accelerated after leaving one of the wash bays. He later died from his injuries.
The man, a Port Chester, N.Y., resident, was struck and dragged by a 2002 Jeep driven by a 16-year-old Greenwich girl as the man stood near two cars that were parked at the car wash. The Jeep also collided with those two vehicles.
The worker died May 2, 2002, after spending about a week in the critical care unit at Stamford Hospital.
Staff writer Frank MacEachern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-625-4434.
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