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Monday, November 26, 2012

NYC - Parking garage worker crushed by falling SUV

A Manhattan parking attendant was crushed to death Monday morning when an SUV slipped off a lift and fell on him.

The worker, identified by colleagues at the downtown garage as 45-year-old Victor Victorino, was pinned by the weight of the vehicle at 8:12 a.m., police said.

“It’s tragic,” said Faisal Choudhury, who learned of the accident when he came by to pick up his car from the Icon 24 Hr. parking garage at 21 Barclay St.

“He was a very nice man, a perfect gentleman. He always said, 'Good morning, how are you?' He always treated me with such respect."

Kim Lurie, another regular at the garage, said she spoke to Victorino a few minutes before the accident “and he seemed fine.”

“He was always very friendly with me,” said a shaken Lurie.

The victim’s frantic relatives arrived at the garage a short time later and were ushered into the nearby Woolworth Building.

Friends said Victorino was a father of three and a cancer survivor who lived in Washington Heights.

Police said the doomed attendant was operating a device that raises vehicles to allow another car or truck to be parked below it when the SUV toppled about 6 feet onto him.

While cops were investigating, an Audi parked just 6 feet away from the garage suddenly burst into flames.

“Someone yelled from the street, ‘Hey, buddy! Your car’s on fire,” said the car owner, Cesar Callan, a personal injury lawyer who had been waiting to park in the garage. “Of course, I didn't believe that so I jumped out of the vehicle, looked underneath, and the car was on fire."

Firefighters quickly doused the flames.

By Barry Paddock , Frank Miller AND Corky Siemaszko / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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