Work in Sports
Van Gundy's car 'totally demolished' after jet blast
Posted: Friday May 19, 2000 02:59 PM
HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) -- In an accident as the New York Knicks arrived home from Miami, a jet blast from their charter plane lifted coach Jeff Van Gundy's car airborne and sent it hurdling over three other vehicles.
Van Gundy's car, a 1995 Honda Civic, was "totally demolished," police said.
Also extensively damaged were Knicks guard Allan Houston's 1997 Mercedes, assistant coach Brendan Malone's 1999 Lincoln and the car belonging to the team's media relations director.
All four cars had been driven onto the tarmac at Westchester County Airport, near the team's suburban New York headquarters, as the charter arrived at 3 a.m. EDT.
As the plane taxied toward that area, the pilot revved one of the engines in order to turn the plane. The blast sent Van Gundy's car spinning over the tops of the other cars. None of the cars were occupied at the time.
"There were people out there, baggage people, people in other cars, limo drivers. So I'm just thankful the car just rolled on other cars," Van Gundy said. "It could have been a tragic thing."
With no way to get home, a team employee drove Van Gundy to the team's practice facility, where he spent the night on a couch in his office. -- no doubt a fitful night pondering the Knicks' 87-81 loss to the Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"I would have walked back from Miami if we would have won," he said.
Westchester County police spokesman Detective William Rehm said the Federal Aviation Administration had been called in to conduct a follow-up investigation.
"It's amazing the amount of force a jet blast can create," Malone said.