Cement truck removed from building on Cedar Avenue in University Heights

A rig team of about a dozen men had to remove the truck from the three-story building with a massive crane designed to lift 400 tons. (1/22/14)

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS - An entire block in University Heights is trying to regain some sense of normalcy following the removal of a cement truck that collided with the front of an apartment building on Monday.

A rig team of about a dozen men had to remove the truck from the three-story building with a massive crane designed to lift 400 tons.

The snowstorm didn't make it any easier on the crews that worked well into Tuesday night at the building at 1970 Cedar Ave.

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Police have identified the driver as 38-year-old Mark Hughes of Ballston Spa, a town near Saratoga Springs. Police say Hughes lost control of his truck exiting the Major Deegan Expressway and crashed through the house Monday night at around 6:30 p.m. The medical examiner says Hughes was crushed and suffocated to death, and has ruled his death an accident. No one inside the house was hurt.

Crane operators say the tow truck will take the cement truck to Van Cortlandt Park, then head up to Albany, where the cement company is based.

A spokesperson from the Department of Buildings says the front of 1970 Cedar Ave. will be completely demolished. The vacate orders currently in effect for neighboring 1966, 1968 and 1972 will be lifted once Con Edison restores gas and power to those homes.

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