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Drunken Driver Slams Into Ambulance, Hurts Two Paramedics, Authorities Say - Illinois

Friday, October 2, 2015  By Erica Demarest

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two paramedics were hurt when an allegedly drunken driver crashed into their stopped ambulance on the side of I-57 near 119th Street early Monday.

Brian Henry, 26, told police he drank "a couple shots" at a club before getting into a 1995 Chevy Suburban with his wife and one other passenger, according to police.

Henry was headed north on I-57 when he crashed into the ambulance in Morgan Park about 2:30 a.m. Monday, according to an arrest report. The ambulance was stopped with its emergency lights on, prosecutors said, and paramedics were helping a victim from an earlier crash.

When it was struck, the ambulance spun around and clipped two paramedics and one of the victims, who'd been standing outside, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

When state troopers arrived on the scene, they found Henry's Suburban in the far left lane with "heavy front-end damage," the arrest report said.

Henry's wife, 31, who had been sitting in the front passenger seat, had broken ribs, a broken left femur and a collapsed lung, according to prosecutors. Police said she was rushed to the hospital in serious condition.

A 25-year-old man in the back of the Suburban had "a brain bleed" and was listed in critical condition, police said.

Henry suffered a broken leg, according to prosecutors. State police said he smelled like alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and spoke with slurred speech, but officers on the scene didn't conduct sobriety tests due to his injuries.

Henry later refused to provide blood and urine samples, the arrest report said, but a standard blood draw at the hospital revealed his BAC to be .083 an hour after the crash. The legal limit is .08.

Henry told police he'd been at a club, where "I did have a couple shots," court records show.

The two paramedics, a 23-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, had minor injuries, police said. The man they'd been tending to suffered a gash to his forehead that required stitches, Antonietti said. She noted that the gash was not caused by the original crash, but rather the drunken driver crash. There had been no serious injuries, but one of the passengers was a paraplegic who needed medical assistance, she said.

Henry, of the 6200 block of South Eberhart Avenue, was charged with DUI and aggravated DUI causing an accident and bodily harm. He was also cited for driving without insurance, speeding, failing to reduce speed or move over for an emergency vehicle and "improper traffic lane usage."

Cook County Judge James Brown on Wednesday ordered Henry held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Henry's public defender said Henry had four children and no prior criminal background. 



Woman fails to yield to ambulance, leads to crash - Oregon

Friday, October 2, 2015  Police responded to a report of an accident involving an ambulance near the intersection of Northwest Stewart Parkway and Aviation Drive at approximately 11:53 a.m. Wednesday. 

Julia Lazich, 53, of Roseburg, pulled out of the parking lot of Roseburg Honda in a green 2016 Honda Pilot for a test drive and was driving north on Northwest Mulholland. 

Lazich entered the intersection on a green light and collided with an ambulance that was driving west on Northwest Stewart Parkway with its lights and sirens on. 

According to witnesses, driver Conor Holmgren, 21, of Eugene, slowed and then proceeded through the intersection before colliding with Lazich’s vehicle. 

Both vehicles were towed from the scene. No injuries were reported. 

Lazich was cited on suspicion of failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. 

Reporter Ian Campbell can be reached at 541-957-4209 or Or follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17



Volunteer firefighter, EMT laid to rest after perishing in ambulance crash - New York

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

  • RIGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds are taking time on Tuesday to mourn Barry G. Miller, a Bergen native, perished after an ambulance rushing to the scene of a medical emergency crashed into the back of a slow-moving backhoe on Sept. 23.Investigation into the tragedy was handled by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. They said another passenger in the ambulance required medical attention, however nobody else suffered serious injury in the crash.

    Three people were in the ambulance at the time of the crash, however hundreds showed up for Miller’s service on Tuesday afternoon.

    Dressed in uniform, many of Miller’s fellow firefighters honored his life.rn the loss of a valued first responder in Monroe County.
  • Barry G. Miller, a Bergen native, perished after an ambulance rushing to the scene of a medical emergency crashed into the back of a slow-moving backhoe on Sept. 23.



    Ambulance tips over in accident in Taylor; 2 paramedics injured - Michigan

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015   By Anne

    Click to enlarge

    Two paramedics were injured when a Concord EMS ambulance tipped over on its side in an accident Sunday in Taylor.

    The ambulance was struck by a car at about 4 p.m. in the area of Pardee and North Line roads, Fire Chief Steve Portis said.

    Taylor firefighters extricated the paramedic in the passenger seat, he said. Both the passenger and driver for the Lincoln Park-based ambulance company were taken to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

    The ambulance did not have a patient in it. The paramedics were on their way to MediLodge, a nursing home on North Line Road in Taylor, Portis said.



    Ambulance ran red light and hit vehicle in Saginaw, police say - Michigan

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015   SAGINAW, MI — Bay and Davenport was down to one lane as Saginaw police investigated a crash involving an ambulance.City police were dispatched to the intersection at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

    Police said the driver of a Mobile Medical Response vehicle ran a red light and struck a vehicle.

    The MMR vehicle was headed west on Davenport and went through the intersection at Bay, striking a blue Dodge Grand Caravan headed north on Bay, police said.

    Another vehicle headed southbound on Bay was not involved in the collision, but debris from the crash hit the vehicle's windshield and cracked it.

    Police said the MMR driver did not have the ambulance's sirens activated and was issued a ticket.

    Lynn Schutter, director of community relations for Saginaw-based MMR, said officials from her office were on scene investigating the crash.

    Bob Johnson is a reporter for MLive/The Saginaw News. Contact him at 989-395-3295, by email at or follow him onTwitterFacebook or Google+.



    10 hurt in crashes involving 5 cars, 1 ambulance on I-57 - Chicago

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015 

    Ten people were hurt in an accident involving at least five cars and a private ambulance on  Interstate 57 on the Far South Side early Monday, authorities said.

    Two cars initially collided around 2:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-57 near 119th Street, according to the Illinois State Police.

    A private ambulance stopped to help the injured in the two cars, which were blocking the right shoulder of the highway.  But another car struck the ambulance, according to Illinois State Police Sgt. Bridget Gilgenberg, who said one of the cars rolled over.

    While crews responded in the northbound lanes, two cars crashed in the southbound lanes across from the initial scene when one car stopped to see what happened and was struck by a another vehicle, Gilgenberg said.

    Eight people were injured in the pileup in the northbound lanes, and two men were hurt in the crash in the southbound lanes, according to Chicago fire Chief Juan Hernandez.  Five of the 10 were seriously injured.

    A 54-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were taken in serious but stable condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

    A 25-year-old man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and a 50-year-old man was taken to Stroger Hospital. Both were listed in serious condition, Hernandez said.

    A man and a woman in their 20s were taken in fair condition to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island. Two men who were injured in the southbound lanes were taken in fair condition to St. Bernard Hospital and to MetroSouth as well, Hernandez said. He said one person refused medical treatment at the scene.

    All lanes were reopened by 4:15 a.m., according to state police.

    Gilgenberg said alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crash involving the car that hit the ambulance. 



    Driver Killed in Tractor Trailer-Ambulance Crash Near Mansfield - Ohio

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015  MANSFIELD (James Jackson) -- A truck driver is killed in a fiery crash. That driver died, after his truck struck an ambulance, and veered into the woods, erupting in flames. It happened on U.S. 30 near Laver Road, in Mansfield, Sunday.

    It all started when an emergency crew came to another crash in the area. State troopers say that's when the semi slammed into the ambulance.
    Richard Daugherty heard the first accident from his home around 11, and ran to help. "Adrenaline was just pumping. Just making sure everybody was okay," Daugherty said.

    While he checked, more trouble came their way. "I was just walking up to the squad to tell them what was going on with the people in the ditch and then the semi hit the squad," Daugherty said.

    Clinton Hardy also saw the crash. He tells us the truck lost control, traveled about 300 yards and barreled into the woods. "Black smoke going up in the sky. Flames higher than the trees. Just rolling smoke," Hardy said.

    It's hard to control thousands of pounds of rolling truck, Daugherty says. He drove semi's for five years. "It's very hard because all the weight that you've got behind you is shifting," Daugherty said.

    Troopers tell us two emergency responders were taken to the hospital as a precaution. Witnesses say people tried to save the truck driver, but couldn't get through the flames.

    Troopers tell us the people in the initial crash were taken to a hospital for treatment. The truck driver's name has not been released. 



    Beer Bottles, Rocks Thrown At Tulsa EMSA Paramedics

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015  BY: RUSSELL HULSTINE, NEWSON6.COM

    TULSA, Oklahoma -Police say EMSA paramedics were attacked while treating a patient early Saturday at a restaurant parking lot.

    Officers said the assault happened in the parking lot of Tacos Don Francisco in the 7900 block of East 21th Street near Memorial just before 2 a.m. 

    Police said while EMSA treated a victim of an assault in the restaurant's parking lot, three men involved in a disturbance inside the restaurant went outside and starting throwing beer bottles and rocks at the paramedics. Police were called, but before they arrived, the restaurant's security had taken the trio into custody.

    Police arrested Emilo Vasquez, 28, Elmer Buezo, 18, and Rapheal Meija, 28, all of Tulsa.  All three were booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of assault with a deadly weapon on emergency personnel.

    Police said the EMSA paramedics were not injured. 



    Semi Explodes After Hitting Ambulance - Ohio

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015  A semi exploded after crashing into an ambulance on U.S. 30 near Laver Road in Richland County on Sunday morning. The accident claimed the life of the truck driver, Anthony A. Fuerst, 52, of Columbus, Grove.

    Authorities at the scene described the bizarre accident.

    "At 10:58 (Sunday) morning, we were called out for a roll-over on the median out here on 30," explained Chief John Fry of the Mifflin Township Fire Department. "We had both an engine and ambulance squad respond. The squad signed on-scene, the engine requested a better location, and the next radio traffic from my squad was that they had been involved in an accident."

    While the ambulance was attending to the injured passengers in the rollover crash, a semi truck smashed into the right rear side of the ambulance. Thankfully, the ambulance crew and the people they were attending to were not seriously injured.

    "Once they arrived on-scene, a semi truck and trailer traveling westbound in the left lane of U.S. 30 struck the Mifflin Township rescue squad in the right rear," said Trooper Matthew Stoffer of the Mansfield State Highway Patrol.

    "The semi hit the back of my (ambulance), raised my rig up in the air, and careened off into the trees," said Fry. "From what I understand, the semi that went into the woods exploded once it went into the woods."

    After the engine's initial explosion, the truck's two fuel tanks also exploded after catching fire.

    "This caused the truck to engulf in flames," Stoffer continued. "The driver of the semi was killed as a result of his injuries."

    "Even though my personnel were inside the ambulance when it got hit, they remained true professionals," Fry remarked. "They took care of the patients that were on the scene, and waited until we had transported everyone out of here before they sought medical attention. I'm really proud of my guys."

    At this time, authorities are still investigating the cause of the semi crash. Fuerst's body will be sent to Summit County for an autopsy. 



    Woman jumps out of ambulance, hit and killed by car - Oklahoma

    Sunday, September 27, 2015  By Erin Jones
    News on 6

    SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a woman is dead after she was hit by a car after she had jumped out of an ambulance in Sand Springs early Friday.

    Troopers said the 1 a.m. incident happened just west of the Sand Springs Expressway interchange with South 49th West Avenue. 

    The OHP says EMSA was transporting the woman to the hospital when it pulled onto the shoulder and stopped after the woman starting fighting with paramedics.  Troopers said as they radioed for help, the woman jumped out and ran across the eastbound lanes and was crossing the westbound lanes when she was struck by a car.  




    LODD: Firefighter/EMT who became ill at emergency scene dies - South Carolina

    Sunday, September 27, 2015  By EMS1 Staff

    BURTON, S.C. — A firefighter-EMT who suffered a medical emergency while working an accident scene last week died.

    Firefighter-EMT Stuart Hardy, 31, with the Burton (S.C.) Fire District, was taken to a hospital and listed in critical but stable condition Sept. 13. He was assisted by fire and EMS personnel on scene. On Tuesday, his MRI results showed he suffered an extensive brain injury that he could not recover from.

    Hardy, a Marine Corps veteran, leaves behind his wife and three young daughters. He worked for the fire district for about a year.

    "Being a firefighter was his dream, a dream he only got to live for a year, but a dream he made count every day in the differences he made in our community, in our department and in all the lives he has touched," the Burton Fire District Facebook page said. "His family would like to say ‘thank you’ to the whole community for their love, support, prayers and for helping them through this difficult time."

    A GoFundMe page has been set up for Hardy’s family and you can also donate to the Stuart Hard Fund at any Regions Bank brank. Checks made out to his fund can also be mailed to 36 Burton Hill Rd., Beaufort, S.C. 29906.

    Funeral arrangements are pending. 



    Ambulance rolls over after accident near Valley View and Russell - Las Vegas

    Sunday, September 27, 2015  LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) – A vehicle struck an AMR Ambulance this evening, causing it to roll over west of McCarran International Airport.

    The ambulance was responding to a call when it was struck around 5:30 p.m. near South Valley View Boulevard and West Russell Road, according to an AMR spokesperson. The crew walked away safely.

    One person was transported to UMC Trauma with nonlife-threatening injuries.

    Traffic was diverted from the area for the investigation. 



    EMT killed in ambulance crash in Riga - New York

    Thursday, September 24, 2015  Riga, N.Y. – Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies said a person working with an ambulance was killed after the vehicle collided with a street sweeper Wednesday morning. The accident happened at Brew and Bovee Roads in Riga around 7:30 a.m. Deputies said the Bergen ambulance, which had three people onboard, was en route to a call for a person having trouble breathing on Johnson Rd. when it rear-ended a street sweeper. Sources tell 13WHAM News and our news partners at The Batavian that 50-year-old Barry Miller, the Genesee County coroner, died at the scene. Miller had been a member of the Bergen Ambulance team for 31 years and was the assistant chief of EMS. Fellow EMT 30-year-old Zackery Czudak was driving the ambulance. He told deputies he slowed down the vehicle because of the sun glare and patches of fog in the area. Deputies said another EMT, 52-year-old Gina Bliss, was riding in the rear of the ambulance and was taken to UMMC in Batavia with minor injuries. Czudak was not injured, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The driver of the street sweeper was not injured. Authorities believe sun glare may have caused the accident. The Bergen community is feeling the loss of Miller, who has been very involved in the community. "He's a mentor to many of the young EMTs that come through our organization," said Jeff Dodson, the former Chief of Bergen Fire Department. "He's just been involved in many community groups and activities. He served on the town board so he's involved in the community as well." A portion of Bovee Road was shut down following the accident, but has since been re-opened. There will be a vigil for Barry Miller at the Bergen Fire Department on Hunter Street at 8 p.m.



    Bergen EMT killed in crash ID'd as Barry Miller - New York

    Thursday, September 24, 2015   and , @WillCleveland13

    A member of a Bergen Volunteer Fire Department ambulance died in a crash on Bovee Road about 7:15 Wednesday morning.

    Barry Miller, 50, of Bergen, an emergency medical technician, was killed in the crash. He was transported to United Medical Center in Batavia where he was pronounced dead.

    Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Helfer said the ambulance was heading east on Bovee Road on the way to a call when the vehicle collided with a slow-moving backhoe also heading east on Bovee.

    Monroe County sheriff's Capt. David Inzana said that because of sun glare and fog, the ambulance driver didn't see the backhoe.

    There were three people in the ambulance, all crew members.

    The male driver, Zackery Czudak, and a female crew member, Gina Bliss, 52, of Bergen, riding in the back also were taken to United Memorial Medical Center, Helfer said. Her injuries were minor.

    Czudak, who was transported to United Memorial, was not injured.

    The backhoe driver was not injured.

    Inzana said the backhoe was owned by the town of Riga and was sweeping the road. The ambulance was responding to a call on Johnson Road for a person who was having trouble breathing.

    "It's always very difficult to respond to these type of scenes and have to still act professionally and do our job while at the same time having a heavy heart," Inzanna said, describing the Bergen volunteers as "a very close-knit family." 



    Bergen's Barry Miller recalled as true giver - New York

    Thursday, September 24, 2015  By Scott DeSmit

    BERGEN — For his entire adult life, Barry Miller was a giver and “a huge figure in the town of Bergen.”

    That was evident in the outpouring of grief in Bergen Wednesday after Miller, chief of Fire Department Emergency Medical Services and a county coroner, was killed on his way to a call in Riga.

    “His connection to the community is indescribable,” said Donald Cunningham, town supervisor and close friend of Miller’s. “He wanted to help people and that would reciprocate when he was in need, which was very rare. He was a go-getter and full of adventure and passion for life. He was definitely giving more than he was taking.”

    Miller, 50, was a front-seat passenger in the rescue ambulance that was called to Johnson Road in Riga about 7 a.m. for a report of a 63-year-old man in possible cardiac arrest.

    The ambulance on Bovee Road just west of Brew Road when it slammed into the rear of a backhoe owned by the town of Riga.

    Ambulance driver Zackery Czudak, 30, told Monroe County sheriff’s deputies that he had reduced speed because of patches of fog and sun glare. Investigators believe he may not have seen the backhoe in time to stop.

    Despite frantic efforts to save Miller, he was pronounced dead after he was taken to United Memorial Medical Center.

    Czudak and crew member Gina Bliss, 52, who was in the rear cabin, were taken to the hospital as a precaution and released. The backhoe operator was not injured.

    Miller’s death quickly reverberated through the community. Shortly after 11 a.m., a contingent of police and fire personnel followed a car carrying Miller’s body to Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

    A candlelight vigil was planned for 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bergen Fire Hall.

    Friends remembered Miller for his generosity and spirit of giving.

    Bergen Fire Department’s Facebook page posted an image of the department’s logo with a black band through it. Dozens added thoughts and prayers to the page. And members spent the day at the fire hall, remembering Miller and his contributions.

    Miller, who grew up on Rochester Street, joined the department at the age of 18.

    “He was instrumental in the department ever since,” Cunningham said. “He organized the rescue squad, started up an Explorer’s Program, which became a big success.”

    Timothy Yaeger, Genesee County EMS coordinator, said Miller “exemplified the spirit of what our service is.”

    “He committed his life to volunteering in the community and it’s amazing the time he devoted,” Yaeger said. “That was just Barry. He was committed and caring and sharing.”

    Miller’s service extended beyond the fire department. He was a longtime Town Board member, serving as Cunningham’s deputy supervisor, and served as Genesee County coroner.

    He owned Miller’s Millworks, right at the railroad crossing in the village of Bergen. He would often donate to various community groups.

    “We bought a lot of podiums from him and he donated a podium for the town of Batavia department, which is just how he was,” Yaeger said.

    The community did have a chance to thank Miller for his service when his business was destroyed by fire in 2007.

    Miller had renovated a grain mill building built in 1876 and turned it into a prosperous millworks operation. Fire swept through the main section of the building.

    Miller did not lay off any of his 14 employees at the time and within three weeks was shipping out truckloads of furniture and ready to begin rebuilding.

    “The village has been so helpful,” Miller said at the time. “They’ve been like a bulldozer in front of me to get us going as quickly as I have.”

    Cunningham said he remembered the day of the fire.

    “It was incredible. I think the biggest fire in history,” he said. “He thought his life was crumbling around him but the community organized to help and pitched in to help him rebuild. He was back in business in short order and he was forever grateful for that help.”

    Miller, who lived on Warboys Road, often used his business experience and craft to help when he served on the Town Board, Cunningham said.

    “He was a fantastic board member,” he said. “He was active and engaged, was a life resident and had a passion for community. He took on a lot projects, was clerk of the works for the Town Hall and fire hall relocation project. He offered a lot of donations through his business to town functions, either in terms of labor or materials. I can’t explain how much he did.”

    Miller was a member of the United Methodist Church and often organized fund-raising events and donated time and money to the church.

    “He organized pancake breakfasts and taking goods to Hurricane Katrina victims,” Cunningham said. “He had a passion to help people and that’s what he was doing today.

    “It’s extremely rare in my experience. You don’t find many at this caliber. You find good folks who are willing to help out but Barry was above and beyond the mean. He set the standard for being a good neighbor.”

    Previous coverage:

    RIGA — A Genesee County coroner and Bergen Volunteer Ambulance crew member was killed when the ambulance slammed into a slow-moving backhoe on its way to a call early Wednesday morning.

    Barry G. Miller, who is also chief of Bergen Emergency Medical Services and president of Miller's Millworks, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Miller was one of four Genesee County coroners. He was elected to a four-year term in 2014.

    Monroe County sheriff’s investigators said the ambulance driver may have been distracted by sun glare when he drove into the rear of the backhoe at Brew and Bovee roads about 7 a.m.

    Miller was in the front passenger seat. Two others in the ambulance, both Bergen volunteers, were taken to a hospital for observation.

    The operator of the backhoe was not injured, deputies said.

    Previous coverage:

    A motor vehicle accident involving a Bergen ambulance and a backhoe was reported on Bovee Road at Brew Road, just over the Genesee line in Riga, Monroe County.

    The accident is believed to be serious but crews at the scene would not confirm or deny the seriousness of the crash.

    Officials said the ambulance was answering a call in Monroe County when it apparently ran into the backhoe. No other information was available. 



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