ORLANDO, Fla. – A panhandler reaching under a vehicle for a bill that had blown away was run over Thursday in Orlando, according to police.
The man was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition after the accident, which happened at the intersection of West Colonial Drive and Orange Blossom Trail.
According to Orlando police, the man was panhandling when a driver handed him a bill. The money, however, fell and was blown beneath the car, police said.
The man reached under the car to get the dollar and was injured when a woman, who was unaware the man was under the car, drove over him, police said.
Three off-duty firefighters came upon the crash and helped lift the car to save the man.
"She was scared, she was shaken up when she realized somebody was underneath her vehicle. She was very scared," said Apopka firefighter Wil Sanchez.
Sanchez and his coworkers were coming back from a training session in Orlando when they witnessed the accident.
"We just see two legs underneath the vehicle just rotating in the circle motion," said Sanchez.
They said the driver had no idea someone was under her car.
"So when we approached her car and told her, she was shocked," said Apopka District Chief Steve Page.
"We all pushed up against it and we were able to lift the vehicle up a couple of feet in order to drag him out," said Sanchez.
President of the Coalition for the Homeless, Brent Trotter, said it speaks to desperate measures, the risk often times not worth the reward.
"There are some numbers that reach as high as $35 to $65 a day in those kinds of circumstances," said Trotter.
"It's very unfortunate, I feel bad for him, I feel bad for her," said Sanchez.
"You never know what's going to happen," Page told WKMG-TV. "Just stay alert. At any time it could be you."
Police said the driver may not face charges. The man, however, could face charges for panhandling, police said.