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Troopers: Ambulance driver distracted before fatal crash - Ohio

Tuesday, August 19, 2014  MANSFIELD, Ohio-The FOX 8 I-Team has learned that an ambulance driver has admitted to investigators that she was using the GPS on her phone, at the time of a deadly crash.

The accident happened on Friday night, when a Community Care Ambulance transporting 56-year-old Michael Willis from University Hospitals to a Columbus hospital, veered off I-71 South near the Route 13 exit outside Mansfield, crashed through a guardrail, careened down an embankment and then rolled over several times.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Michael Willis was ejected from the ambulance and thrown a considerable distance. The Richland County coroner says Willis died from blunt force trauma to his body.

The driver of the ambulance, 30-year-old Amber Brown of Cleveland, and EMT James Phillips of Garfield Heights, were treated for their injuries and released.

Investigators say when Amber Brown was questioned by troopers, she admitted that she was distracted at the time of the deadly crash. Lt. Chad Enderby told the I-Team, “she was looking at a GPS device, stated that she was attempting to get their time of arrival in Columbus, when she drifted off the right side of the roadway.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Amber Brown’s phone has been seized by investigators, who will now try to determine if it was also being used for texting or a phone call at the time of the accident. “We will send that to our computer crime unit in Columbus and they will analyze that, and verify if that statement is true,” said Lt. Enderby.

Investigators are also checking the vehicle’s on-board computer, to try and establish how fast it was traveling at the time of the crash.

Community Care Ambulance, based in Ashtabula, issued a statement on Saturday that reads, “we want to express our sorrow and sadness about the situation. We are doing everything we can to cooperate.” 

   


 

Air ambulance that crashed was vital to Grand Manan, N.B., community - Canada

Tuesday, August 19, 2014  By KALEIGH ROGERS

A pilot and paramedic who were killed in an air ambulance crash Saturday were part of an emergency safety net so vital for the island of Grand Manan, N.B., that it helped shape the community.

Pilot Klaus Sonnenberg and paramedic William Mallock were killed Saturday when the Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft they were travelling in crashed near the runway of the island’s airport. They were returning to Grand Manan, a small island located in the Bay of Fundy, after dropping off a patient at the Saint John Regional Hospital. It was a trip both men had done hundreds of times, saving countless lives and creating a lifeline that made the islanders feel more connected and safe.

“He has saved a lot of lives. There’s a lot of people coming forward and saying ‘I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Klaus,” said Dennis Greene, mayor of the community of just fewer than 2,400 people.

When the plane went down, the two men were travelling with another pilot and a registered nurse, both of whom are currently being treated at the Saint John Regional Hospital and are in stable condition.

The island has a small hospital, but in certain emergency situations, patients need to be airlifted to the larger Saint John Regional Hospital on the mainland. Though the island is serviced through Ambulance New Brunswick, there are no planes stationed on Grand Manan and often, according to Mr. Greene, planes struggle to land when trying to access patients due to weather and the island’s size. Mr. Sonnenberg was the owner of Atlantic Charters, which was located on the island and held a contract with Ambulance New Brunswick to shuttle patients who needed emergency care. He was usually accompanied by at least one paramedic on these trips and could deliver patients to Saint John in less than an hour.

Mr. Greene described the service as a “critical” safety net that not only brought peace of mind to the community, but helped shape its very makeup.

“We’ve had many people who have retired and come to Grand Manan and the main reason that they came is they looked at the health-care system and they looked at [the fact that] if something goes wrong, Atlantic Charters can get us to the hospital,” he said, adding the time it takes Atlantic Charters to fly a patient to Saint John is comparable to the driving time for many communities on the mainland.

“With that air service, we don’t feel isolated.”

Mr. Sonnenberg’s wife’s brother and parents are now tasked with organizing the service for the pilot as they grapple with the loss; the island has just one small funeral home, operated by Mr. Sonnenberg’s in-laws.

Mr. Sonnenberg moved to the island in 1982 from Halifax, where he worked as a Fisheries officer. He started the charter business immediately, first with water planes that would launch off of the beach. Eventually, in 1990, he switched to land-based aircraft that flew out of the island’s newly opened airport. His LinkedIn profile lists a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology earned at the University of Idaho, completed in 1968.

As news of Mr. Sonnenberg and Mr. Mallock’s deaths reached across the 24-kilometre-long island over the weekend, the tight-knit community reflected on the contribution both men had made.

Many members of Rhonda Boynton’s family have been flown to the regional hospital through Atlantic Charters over the years, including herself when she was giving birth. Her husband is a cousin of Mr. Mallock, and she has known Mr. Sonnenberg’s wife since high school. Like so many on the island, she has a deep connection to both men.

“There is no way to describe how everybody feels. I know tragedy happens everywhere everyday but it just seems [worse] when you’re in a small, tight-knit place,” she said. Ms. Boynton said many people likely would have lost their lives over the years if the charter service hadn’t been there to rush them to the hospital. Mr. Sonnenberg was on call 24/7, she said.

“He was there for Grand Manan for many, many years, even up late at night. Anytime you needed his service he was there. He would never say no.”

Both Mr. Sonnenberg and Mr. Mallock were married with children. Mr. Mallock’s son is an X-ray technician, and a daughter followed in his footsteps and became an EMT. Mr. Sonnenberg’s two sons are both pilots – one of whom, Peter, works for the charter service and locals expect he will take over the family business in time.

For now, the New Brunswick government has assured Grand Manan it will get the ambulance service it needs. Ted Flemming, the province’s Minister of Health tweeted Sunday that Ambulance New Brunswick will post its air ambulance plane in Saint John when not in use, in order to be closer to the island. 

   


 

Veteran paramedic, pilot killed in N.B. air ambulance crash - Canada

Sunday, August 17, 2014  Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca 

A paramedic and a pilot are dead after a chartered plane crash on Grand Manan Island, N.B.

The plane crashed at about 5 a.m. Saturday morning, Ambulance New Brunswick said Saturday in a news release. The plane hit the ground in a grassy area, metres from the landing strip at the Grand Manan airport.

A second pilot and nurse from the Grand Manan hospital survived the crash. There were no injuries to anyone on the ground, and there was no patient on board the plane.

The paramedic has been identified as William Mallock, who was on duty at the time of the crash. Mallock had nearly 20 years of experience as a paramedic.

The pilot who died has been identified as Atlantic Charters company president Klaus Sonnenberg. In his profile on LinkedIn, Sonnenberg listed himself as the owner of Atlantic Charters since 1982.

The names of the other plane passenger and pilot have not yet been released.

Mallock, Sonnenberg, the nurse, and the other pilot were returning to Grand Manan after a trip to Saint John Regional Hospital following a patient drop off.

Grand Manan has a population of about 2,000 people. Community members told CTV Atlantic that the whole island is in mourning after the fatal crash.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, Ambulance New Brunswick offered their thoughts and prayers to the families, friends and colleagues of “those whose lives were lost.”

“William, or Billy as he was known by his friends, and the pilot lost their lives serving the public and helping patients,” Paul Ward, interim president at Ambulance New Brunswick, said in the statement. “We also want to express our sympathies and the hope for a speedy and complete recovery to the two others that suffered injuries in the accident."

Atlantic Charters released a statement Sunday morning, also extending thoughts and prayers to the injured and sympathy to Mallock's family. The company also asked for space.

"We are asking for your respect to give our community, company, and family time to heal," the statement said.

The plane has been identified as a Piper Navajo (PA31). According to the Atlantic Charters website, the model can travel a maximum of 340 kilometres per hour and its standard tasks include medevac flights.

It is still too early to determine the cause of the crash, Ambulance New Brunswick said. RCMP blocked the site off from media Saturday and sent a chopper to review the scene.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it was sending a team of investigators to the scene.






   


 

Grand Manan plane crash kills pilot, paramedic - Canada

Sunday, August 17, 2014  A pilot and a paramedic were killed Saturday when their small chartered plane crashed on Grand Manan Island, N.B.

Ambulance New Brunswick (ANB) said the Atlantic Charters flight carrying four people crashed in a wooded area near the airport shortly after 5 a.m.

A second pilot and a registered nurse survived the crash.

ANB confirmed the paramedic who died was William Mallock. He had almost 20 years of service.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of those whose lives were lost – an Ambulance New Brunswick paramedic and a pilot from Atlantic Charters," said a statement released by ANB.

"William, or Billy as he was known by his friends, and the pilot lost their lives serving the public and helping patients. We also want to express our sympathies and the hope for a speedy and complete recovery to the two others that suffered injuries in the accident."

A search-and-rescue helicopter was dispatched to the site. Capt. LiamMather, a defence department spokesman, said one survivor was taken to Grand MananHospital.

"The other one's injuries were determined to be too extensive for treatment at Grand Manan so the Cormorant helicopter assisted with a medevac to Saint John Regional Hospital," he told CBC News.

The RCMP said both survivors were taken to Saint John, and both were in serious but stable condition at the time.

Ambulance New Brunswick said the plane had dropped off a patient at Saint John Regional Hospital and was returning to Grand Manan when it crashed.

There were no patients on board the plane, a Piper PA-31, at the time.

'We are devastated'“We are devastated by this incident,” Paul Ward, interim president of Ambulance New Brunswick, said in a statement.

The paramedic who died worked for Ambulance New Brunswick and the pilot worked for Atlantic Charters, which has the contract to provide air service to Grand Manan.

John McGarry, CEO of the Horizon Health Network, tweeted "our thoughts and prayers are with those involved, and their families, in the Grand Manan plane crash. So tragic."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he and his wife, Laureen, offered their "deepest condolences" to the families.

Rick Doucet said he's been in contact with the families of the victims. The MLA for Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West plans to head to the island later Saturday.

"It affects every single person, without a doubt," Doucet said. "Everyone right now is in disbelief and shock as to what's taken place. They've lost a couple of very close members of their community. You know, at times like this they'll be comforting each other."

Atlantic Charters is run by pilot Klaus Sonnenberg. Ed Shaw, a former Grand Manan resident, credits Sonnenberg and his team with saving his life.

"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him and his co-pilot and nurse that got me off the island and got me to Saint John so that they could do something with me," Shaw said.







TSB investigatingThe crash happened near the airport, not far from where Atlantic Charters is based.

Paul Ward, with Ambulance New Brunswick, said it's too early to say what happened.

The Transportation Safety Board is sending two people to the crash site. They will stop at the Saint John hospital to try to interview the crash survivors before heading to the island, a spokesman said.

Sharing griefMany people are expressing their shock and sadness on social media. Some are using #LODD, which means "line of duty death."

Medevac services continueAmbulance New Brunswick said its air ambulance service would continue despite Saturday's tragedy.

This is the second paramedic to die in New Brunswick in two years.

In March 2013, Mike Harborne was killed in a house fire in Dieppe. He was off-duty at the time. 

   


 

Patient dies in ambulance crash, 2 others injured - Ohio

Sunday, August 17, 2014  MANSFIELD, Ohio — Authorities were investigating an ambulance crash that left a patient dead and the ambulance driver and EMT injured Friday night.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, around 11:45 p.m., the ambulance went through a guard rail and rolled down an embankment near the 71 southbound exit ramp near State Road 13 in Washington Township.

Patient Michael Willis, 56, of Cleveland, as well as EMT James Phillips, 30, of Garfield Hts., were ejected from the patient transport area in the back of the ambulance. Willis was pronounced dead at the scene.

Phillips and ambulance driver Amber Brown, 30, of Cleveland, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

One day later, band aids, latex gloves and an oxygen tank still littered the area where the ambulance landed, nearly 100 yards from the road.

“It’s such a rare thing for us to come across something like that because they have been trained to operate those vehicles,” said Trooper Shaun Robles, of Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Mansfield Post. “That’s ultimately what their goal is, to get from point A to point B in a safe manner.”

The ambulance is owned by Community Care Ambulance in Ashtabula. It was transferring the patient from University Hospitals in Cleveland to another hospital in Columbus.

“We want to express our sorrow and sadness about the situation. We are doing everything we can to cooperate,” said Community Care Ambulance Executive Director Julie Rose.

The speed of the ambulance and the cause of the crash are under investigation. 

   


 

Ambulance crashes in Flatlands - New York

Sunday, August 17, 2014  By Vanessa Ogle

A Flatlands appliance store owner rescued two emergency medical technicians and a patient from a private ambulance that flipped upside down in a dramatic accident Thursday morning.

“There was a blue car flying at my store and the ambulance was upside down,” said Andrew Rothman, who is one of the owners of Caps Appliance Parts on Utica Avenue.

The Richmond County Ambulance vehicle smashed into several parked cars, launching them onto the sidewalk, before flipping over on Utica Avenue near Avenue M at around 9:00 am on Aug. 14.

Rothman said he and an employee from a nearby auto shop grabbed the driver from the ambulance. After they pulled the driver out, he told them there was a patient in the back with a technician.

“The patient was hanging from the straps,” said Rothman.

Rothman said he didn’t see what caused the accident but the driver told Rothman a van cut him off, which caused the massive collision Rothman witnessed.

“He went across three lanes of traffic and hit four cars,” he said.

A FDNY spokesman said three individuals were transported to Kings County Hospital Center in stable condition.



Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa

   


 

CANADIAN EMS LINE OF DUTY DEATH-AIRCRAFT DOWN

Saturday, August 16, 2014  We regret to pass on that a Pilot and a Paramedic were killed in the Line of Duty today when their small chartered plane crashed on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada

Ambulance New Brunswick (ANB) said the Atlantic Charters flight carrying four people crashed in a wooded area near the airport shortly after 0500 hours.

A second pilot and a registered nurse survived the crash.

ANB confirmed the paramedic who died in the Line of Duty was William Mallock. He had almost 20 years of service.



   


 

Wrong-way driver dies in I-275 crash with ambulance - Tampa

Friday, August 15, 2014  TAMPA (FOX 13) -For the second time this week, a wrong-way driver has caused a wreck on our roads. This time, the results were deadly.

The latest crash happened on Interstate 275 just before 3 a.m. Troopers say the driver -- who has not yet been identified -- started going the wrong direction somewhere on I- 4, then entered the northbound lanes of I-275.

Near Floribraska Avenue, the wrong-way Honda Accord slammed into an oncoming ambulance, which was flipped onto its side by the force of the impact. There were no patients in the ambulance, but the two EMTs were taken to St. Joseph's with minor injuries.

The Honda driver, meanwhile, was killed. Troopers have not been able to identify him because he was not carrying any identification, and, they say, "registration of the vehicle is currently inconclusive."

Troopers do believe alcohol and drugs may have been a factor in this crash.

This is the fourth wrong way crash on Interstate 275 since February.

Early Wednesday morning, troopers were chasing a driver until he got on the interstate going the wrong direction. The car went a few miles before a head-on crash at Busch Boulevard. No one was seriously injured and the driver was arrested.

Back in February, a horrific crash on I-275 killed five people. Investigators say the driver of an SUV was going the wrong way on I-275 north and collided head-on with another car just north of Busch Boulevard. Both vehicles burst into flames.

Four members of a USF fraternity died, as well as the wrong-way driver, who was later found to be very drunk.

About a week after that crash, a wrong-way driver made a U-turn in the middle of I-275 and started going north in the southbound lanes. A few minutes later, the car crashed into a box truck.

The wrong way driver died; the two men in the box truck survived. 

   


 

One person dead in wrong-way I-275 crash in Tampa

Friday, August 15, 2014  By Trevor Pettiford, Reporter

TAMPA -- The driver of a car traveling the wrong way on Interstate 275 in Tampa was killed early Friday when the car smashed head-on into an ambulance.

According to authorities, the car, which was traveling northbound in the southbound, lanes crashed into the ambulance on I-275 near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at 2:45 a.m.

The driver of the car died at the scene.


According to the Florida Highway Patrol, troopers received information about a wrong-way driver traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 4 near 50th Street. However, officials said it is unknown where the driver entered the interstate.

Troopers said the car continued westbound on I-4 until entered the southbound lanes of I-275. 

No patients were being transported in the ambulance, which was knocked onto its side in the crash. The two EMTs in the ambulance suffered only minor injuries.

Officials said the driver was a man in his 20s or 30s. His identity has not been release yet. Alcohol and drugs use are both suspected is the crash. 


The southbound lanes of I-275 were reopened to traffic before 6 a.m. 



   


 

TWO MANCHESTER FIRST AID MEMBERS SENT TO HOSPITAL AFTER TRUCK CRASHES INTO AMBULANCE - NEW JERSEY

Friday, August 15, 2014  by Lisa Parker

MANCHESTER- On Saturday, August 9, 2014 at approximately 11:00 am, a Whiting Volunteer First Aid ambulance was struck while exiting the First Aid Squad building on County Route 530 near Lake Road.

The ambulance was occupied by three volunteer squad members that were in route to an Emergency call with its lights and siren activated when it was struck by a large box truck that was traveling east on County Route 530. The Ambulance was being operated by 80 year old Albert Stover of Whiting.

The crew members that were passengers in the ambulance were 56 year old Bryan Platt, who resides in New Egypt and 73 year old John Valdora, who resides in Whiting. The box truck was registered to Optimum Moving LLC out of Elmwood Park, NJ. It was being operated by 20 year old David Pinuel from Fairlawn, NJ. There were two other occupants in the box truck at the time of the crash, neither the driver or the occupants of the box truck reported any injuries at the scene.

The driver, Albert Stover, and front seat passenger, John Valdora, of the First Aid Ambulance were transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River by Quality Medical Transport for complaints of pain. The rear seat crew member, Bryan Platt, complained of right arm pain but refused medical attention. This Crash is under investigation by Patrolman Antonio Ellis of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Section. 

   


 

Police release name of man involved in ambulance crash - Kentucky

Friday, August 15, 2014  LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - WKYT is tracking the investigation into a crash involving an ambulance in Lexington.

Police say 18 year old Justin King was drunk when he ran into a Green County ambulance.

It happened around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of South Broadway and Waller Avenue, near St. Joseph Hospital.

Lexington police say the ambulance was taking a patient to UK Hospital when a truck hit it in the intersection.

Police say the ambulance did have its lights and sirens on.

They say a member of the ambulance crew had minor injuries but no one else was hurt.

Police say another ambulance came to the scene to take a patient to UK.

They say they arrested the King on suspicion of DUI.

Wednesday morning, police charged King with minor possession and driving while intoxicated. 

   


 

FDNY EMT attacked by patient

Wednesday, August 13, 2014  A member of FDNY EMS was punched in the back while she was trying to tend to her assailant in Greenwich Village, cops said.

The medic was responding to a call about an intoxicated man when Keith Doyle, 23, assaulted her on La Guardia Place near West Houston Street on Sunday at about 5:30 a.m., cops said.

Doyle punched her, grabbed her collar and pulled her forward, causing the medic to fall, cops said.

The 24-year-old FDNY-EMS member was taken to Bellevue Hospital and treated for swelling and bruising to the back, cops said.

Doyle, who was arrested, was believed to be drunk, authorities and police sources said. 

   


 

Three hurt in Manchester ambulance crash - New Jersey

Wednesday, August 13, 2014  Stephanie Loder, @Loder1

MANCHESTER – Three Whiting Volunteer First Aid Squad members were injured during the weekend on the way to an emergency call when their vehicle was hit by a box truck, police said Monday.

The ambulance, driven by Albert Stover, 80, of Whiting, was struck at 11 a.m. Saturday while leaving the first aid squad building on Route 530 near Lake Road, according to township police Capt. Lisa Parker.

The ambulance had its lights and siren activated when it was struck by a large box truck that was traveling east on Route 530, Parker said.

The crew members who were passengers in the ambulance were Bryan Platt, 56, of New Egypt and John Valdora, 73, of the Whiting section of the township, police said.

The box truck, driven by David Pinuel, 20, of Fairlawn, was registered to Optimum Moving LLC out of Elmwood Park. Neither the driver or two passengers in the box truck reported any injuries at the scene, police said.

Stover and Valdora were taken Community Medical Center in Toms River by Quality Medical Transport for complaints of pain, police said.

Platt complained of right arm pain but refused medical attention, police said.

The crash is under investigation by Patrolman Antonio Ellis of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Section.

Stephanie Loder: 732-456-2159;sloder@app.com 

   


 

Wash. man struck by ambulance, killed

Wednesday, August 13, 2014  By Dee Riggs
The Wenatchee World

PATEROS, Wash. — A man who walked into a highway was killed early Sunday morning when he was struck by a passing ambulance, according to the State Patrol.

Kevin M. Lang, 20, of Philadelphia, was pronounced dead at the scene along Highway 97 about one mile south of Pateros. Lang was walking south along the shoulder of the highway about 3:10 a.m. and the Lifeline ambulance was driving north, according to the report. The ambulance was not on an emergency call and did not have a patient on board, said State Patrol spokesman Darren Wright.

The ambulance moved to avoid Lang but Lang entered the highway and was struck in the northbound lane.

Driving the ambulance was Christopher G. Christiansen, 28, of Orondo, according to the report. 

   


 

Crash involving Glendale ambulance injures 7 - Arizona

Saturday, August 9, 2014  Corina Vanek, The Republic | azcentral.com

A two-vehicle collision involving a city of Glendale ambulance injured seven people Thursday morning, officials said.

A truck and an ambulance collided at 65th and Peoria avenues before 11 a.m., said Gilbert Mancilla, a spokesman for the Glendale Fire Department.

Seven people were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but Mancilla said no one suffered life-threatening injuries. The details of the accident, including if there was a patient in the ambulance, are unavailable.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, Mancilla said. 

   


 
 
 

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