The owner of a fruit stand who barely escaped injury when an out-of-control driver smashed into his business in Midtown was back up and running within 24 hours.
Ugur Dikici, 44, worked until 4 a.m. Saturday to get his business ready for customers.
Dikici got help from friends who gave him a few metal stalls and luckily had extra goods in his truck.
“I can’t lose a day. I have family. I have two kids — 13 and 16. My daughter,, she is preparing for the college. It’s hard,” he said. “And the business is not like before. In the last year – you know, the pandemic – it’s slow. I’m here seven days a week.”
“I worked until four o’clock in the morning,” he said. “I’m tired. But I’m used to it. Usually I work 16 or 17 hours a day.
One of the survivors of the domino-like crash, George Soliman, 54, told The Post he tried to move out of the way but wasn’t fast enough.
The fruit stand with its contents and scaffolding fell on him. He has pain in his knees, arms, back, it hurts to turn his head from side to side.
“I see the car is coming,” Soliman recalled. “It was coming fast – crazy man, crazy man. It was hitting everything – boom, boom. I fell in the street. I fall on my face. Everything was coming down on us. The fruits all over me. The scaffolding fell on my back and my knee and my arms and my fingers. Thank you, God! Thank you, God! I’m alive. I’m really lucky.”
The incident unfolded around 8:30 a.m., when a 66-year-old man, who was later found to have suffered a medical episode, rammed his Nissan van into a black Toyota Camry from behind on Second Avenue — sending the car hurtling through the dining area near East 50th Street.
Two young boys, ages 5 and 7, were hit by flying debris from the empty outdoor set-up at Crave Fishbar, cops said.
The destruction continued for another block. The van crashed into Dikici’s fruit stand and some scaffolding before coming to a halt at East 49th Street, according to cops and witnesses. In all, seven people were hurt.