A Dunkirk man whose flatbed tow truck went through his garage on Wednesday night on Park Avenue says he is "lucky to be alive."
Mike Leverenz of Mike's Automotive said a mechanical malfunction led to his flatbed truck going in gear and dragging him 100 feet in his driveway until it went through his garage before coming to a stop around 9 p.m. The incident happened when he turned the key while standing outside the vehicle to check on its mileage.
"It started and took off," he said of the incident that evening.
OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
This flatbed tow truck went through a garage at 419 Park Ave., Dunkirk on Wednesday evening.
Two workers from M C Towing in Falconer, Ken Kaltenbach and Kevin Lowe, were on the scene to transport a car. They witnessed the incident and were able to help Leverenz immediately.
"I could have been dead," Leverenz said. "They pried the wall and door off (of the garage) because the building would have come down."
Kaltenbach and Lowe, both Ashville residents, said their response was "human nature."
"It happened in a matter of two seconds," Kaltenbach said. "I honestly thought he was gone because he was unresponsive."
Once in the garage, the men were able to remove Leverenz from the structure. "We had him out and responsive before EMS and the police showed up," said Lowe, a 10-year volunteer firefighter.
Leverenz went for a medical exam after the incident, but went out of his way to praise both Lowe and Kaltenbach, who placed a follow-up phone call to Leverenz on Thursday to check on his condition.
"How do you thank somebody who saves your life?" said Leverenz, who escaped major injury in the incident.
Currently, his garage at 419 Park Ave. is being repaired and he is back to work, thanks to Kaltenbach and Lowe. "Those two guys were heroes," he said. "They saved my life."
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