Man crushed by police SUV on beach

February 23, 2011 3:54:42 AM PST
A man sunbathing on the beach was crushed by a police SUV that was rushing to an emergency.

But nine9months later, there are tough questions for police because the victim, who was seriously injured, hasn't been able to see the police accident report.

"I know if I would have gotten up I wouldn't be here," victim Marshall Starkman said.

Starkman breaks down and cries every time he speaks about that split-second moment of life and death.

"I feel like my face was ripped off," he said. "I didn't know what was going on."

In fact, Starkman had no idea at the time that he was being crushed by an 8,000-pound SUV.

The incident happened last May.

The 44-year-old was sitting on a chair in Long Beach when a police vehicle came barreling through.

"All of a sudden something knocked me off the chair, I didn't know what it was," Starkman said.

He was on the ground and something told him to stay down.

"Almost like the hand of God came down and said, 'Don't get up,'" Starkman said.

At that point, witnesses were screaming for the SUV to stop, but they say the officer appeared to be on his cell phone.

Starkman was pinned under the vehicle as it sped away, and his body ended up covered in tire marks.

He suffered broken ribs and has to undergo multiple surgeries for his heart and neck.

His doctors say few have lived to tell such a story.

"It's a miracle," Starkman said.

Attorney Neil Greenberg says Nassau County police conducted an independent investigation.

Starkman says he wants to see the police report in an effort to prevent this kind of accident from ever happening again.

A spokesperson for the Nassau County Police Department said the report is now available.

Criminal charges are pending against the officer.

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