A Sanitation Department mechanic dangled between the third floor and eternity Wednesday after he crashed a 16-ton salt spreader through the wall of a Queens garage. A salt truck dangles from a building on August 17, 2011 (DelMundo/NYDN) The driver lost control of the spreader inside the sprawling Woodside repair facility shortly after 9 a.m., sending it through the wall and showering bricks and debris below. With three quarters of the bright-orange rig hanging downward at a 45-degree angle, the terrified driver was rescued by firefighters using a tower ladder. "I looked up and I saw a truck coming out of the window," said John Satar, a food vendor. "The sound drew my attention, and there was a truck leaning out of the building...[The driver] was sitting in his seat. The other workers were saying, 'Hang in there. Help is on the way.' The guy was scared." More photos at NY Daily News online > Alex Aponte, a manager at Allison Transmission on 59th Pl., was getting coffee at Satar's food cart when he heard "a big bang." "I turned around and there was this truck hanging out of the building and debris falling everywhere. I said, 'This can't be real, It has to be a movie,'" he said. "I saw the cars outside and they were all smashed from the debris." The driver was identified as Robert Legall, 56. He has 10 years on the job and a clean record. He was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital with neck and back pain, treated and released. He was being giving a "performance evaluation," including a Breathalyzer and urine test, said Sanitation spokesman Matthew Lippani. Meanwhile, tow trucks inside the garage at 52-35 58th St. held the spreader back with heavy-duty chains. Firefighters took no chances and set up a collapse zone below the spreader, standing by with three hose lines in case it smashed into the pavement and caught fire. A private crane finally lifted the front end so it could be pulled back inside. Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said the spreader, which was at the facility for upgrading and routine maintenance, belongs to the Department of Correction and is used on Rikers Island. "What happened? We're really not sure," said Rocco DiRico, deputy commissioner of support services. "It's a horrible situation. I've been here for 32 years. I've been deputy commissioner for 10, and I've never seen anything like this in my life. "No one, thank God, was down below."