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Ambulance rear-ended in Bridgeport - Connecticut

Sunday, March 22, 2015  BRIDGEPORT–Police confirm that an ambulance was rear-ended on Friday night.The ambulance was driving near the intersection of Stratford Avenue and Bruce Avenue, near the Bridgeport-Stratford town line, when a car hit it from behind around 8 p.m.

No patients were in the ambulance, which is owned by Nelson Ambulance, but two medics were on board in addition to the driver.

The three people who were in the car that crashed into the ambulance were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Police don’t know yet if weather was a factor in the crash.




Friday, March 20, 2015  By 

Private ambulance companies have tremendous responsibilities, tasked with protecting the sick and safely transporting them to medical care facilities. But there are few legal requirements when it comes to qualifications of their drivers.

Two weeks ago, a teenage driver for Senior Care EMS lost control on a dry roadway and struck a utility pole. A patient in the back died in the crash.

The Eyewitness News Investigators found other accidents involving the same company, including a 2012 near-fatal incident in which video appears to show the young driver nodding off just before hitting four cars and a pedestrian.

"What you see in that video is a young man asleep at the wheel, no issue about that," the victim's attorney, Walter Benson, said. "He hits a pedestrian, Kelly Fobbs, hits four parked cars, wakes up and doesn't know what happened." 

Video from a camera on a nearby building shows the ambulance strike the woman, who is then seen writhing in pain on the street.

"She's had reconstructive surgery," Benson said. "She has difficulty walking, in constant pain."

Senior Care EMS paid out a $2.7 million settlement.

In September of 2011, a Senior Care EMS ambulance slammed into a car in the Bronx. A jury in that case found the ambulance company at fault and awarded the driver of the car $675,000 for his injuries.  

Then, there's the incident two weeks ago that killed Janet Hickey.

"You get the phone call from my brother, you're numb," brother Jim Doyle said. "I've been numb ever since."

Hickey, from the Bronx, had survived brain surgery and was on her way to rehab when the driver crashed into the utility pole in Spring Valley. Hickey suffered fatal injuries when she was propelled out of the back of the ambulance.

"The poor girl broke her neck, her back," Doyle said. "Ribs broken, arms and legs, it's like she wasn't restrained at all."

It's still unclear what caused the EMS driver to lose control or whether the EMT riding in the back had properly secured the patient. By law, all ambulances must be equipped with locking mechanisms to secure the patient gurney in the event of an accident. 

"It's pretty obvious that didn't occur," Doyle said. "Whether it was not hooked up properly or broken, no other explanation what could have possibly happened."

Two former drivers say they received just a few hours of on-the-road training and were paid a couple of bucks above minimum wage. The driver who apparently fell asleep had just turned 20, while the driver in the Spring Valley crash was 19.

"It makes no sense, no sense whatsoever," Doyle said. "No family deserves to go through this."

The only state requirement to operate an ambulance in New York is that the driver have a license and that the operator has "the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons." 

SeniorCare never responded to our repeated calls for a comment on our findings. 



Four injured in three-car collision involving ambulance - Washington

Friday, March 20, 2015  By 

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Four people are injured in a three-car collision on 40th Ave. and Englewood. An ambulance was transporting a child Thursday evening when it was hit by a car.

Firefighters say the ambulance flipped on its side after being hit and then landed on another vehicle.

Firefighters say the two people inside the third vehicle that the ambulance landed on were injured and taken to the hospital. The people inside the first car that struck the ambulance were not hurt.

Witnesses said they saw paramedics come out of the windows of the ambulance. The two EMS personnel were injured and transported to the hospital.

The child being transported by the ambulance that was hit is reported as not receiving any additional injuries and was taken away by a second ambulance after the crash.



SUV, ambulance carrying patient collide at downtown Fargo intersection - North Dakota

Friday, March 20, 2015  By Adrian Glass-Moore

FARGO – A northbound ambulance carrying a patient and a westbound SUV collided at a busy downtown intersection Wednesday night.

Two additional ambulances were needed after the crash at the intersection of Second Street North and First Avenue: one for the driver of the SUV and another for the patient whose ambulance was involved in the accident, said Fire Department Battalion Chief Craig Nelson. 

The ambulance was northbound and in the intersection when it was hit by the SUV.

Police and firefighters closed off Second Street north of First Avenue as firefighters swept debris from the crash site, which happened at about 7:15 p.m. Emergency responders were busy loading the two patients into two ambulances.

While the SUV had extensive front-end damage, the Essentia ambulance it collided with appeared to be in good condition. 



Queens Hatzalah Ambulance Nearly Destroyed In Serious Crash – Member Is Uninjured - New York

Friday, March 20, 2015  A Queens Hatzalah member was uninjured in an early-morning crash, which left a Hatzalah ambulance nearly destroyed.

The accident happened around 2:30AM at Union Turnpike and Markwood Road in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, as the Hatzalah member was driving the ambulance back from a call. As he drove down the ambulance down the one-way street, a vehicle suddenly turned into the street and struck the ambulance almost completely head-on.

There were three passengers in the car, one of whom refused all medical treatment and left the scene before police arrived, a second passenger who refused treatment, and a third who was taken to the hospital in stable condition.


Bichasdei Hashem, the Hatzalah member was uninjured. It should be noted that Queens Hatzalah uses the largest ambulances available in the industry for the safety of the members. This specific ambulance is not the largest of the fleet, but one of the larger ones. The ambulance has major damage, and is nearly totaled.

A senior Hatzalah member spoke with YWN and added that should have this been a regular ambulance involved, the ambulance would have been thrown far – and highly likely causing serious injury to the member.

It appears that the driver of the vehicle thought it was a two-way street when he turned directly into the path of the oncoming ambulance.

An investigation is ongoing, and no arrests were made.




PD: Ambulance driver at fault in last week's crash with school bus, pickup truck - Florida

Thursday, March 19, 2015  By Catherine Mejia

ORANGE CITY, Fla. —An ambulance driver is to blame for a crash involving a school bus and a pickup truck in Volusia County last week, according to a report released by the Orange City Police Department.

The report said that even though the ambulance driver, Mary Hart, activated the lights and sirens, she is still at fault because she failed to stop at a red light and clear all lanes of travel before entering the intersection of Harley Strickland Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Parkway last Tuesday afternoon.

The accident caused the ambulance to hit a pole and a pickup truck to crash into another car and a school bus, the report said.

Hart and her passenger were the only ones hurt in the crash.

The extent of their injuries was not specified by the report. 



Man goes on joyride with stolen ambulance, crashes out - Texas

Thursday, March 19, 2015  A man is in jail after crashing an ambulance he stole from an EMT in Fort Worth Wednesday morning.

According to MedStar, a crew was parked near JPS hospital in an ambulance to complete documentation for a recent call. At that point Kenneth Golightly, 29, came to the driver's door, opened the door, and told the driver he was taking the ambulance. The driver didn't initially respond so the male pulled a knife out, pointed it at our driver, and repeated, "I'm taking your ambulance."

The driver stepped out of the truck and let the Golightly have it. He then drove the truck for a few blocks at high speeds and crashed through a fence into the parking lot.

Golightly was apprehended a short distance from the crash scene and taken into custody on an aggravated robbery charge. As of Sunday night, he remains in jail on a $20,000 bond.

No injuries were reported. 



Texas man steals ambulance, crashes into fence

Thursday, March 19, 2015  FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A Texas man was arrested after police say he commandeered an ambulance at knifepoint and reached speeds of 70 mph along city streets before crashing into a fence.

Investigators say the emergency lights were flashing as 29-year-old Kenneth Golightly of Fort Worth sped away Wednesday after ordering two EMTs from the ambulance.

Police say the two workers initially ignored Golightly when he approached them as they were completing paperwork. Then he pulled the knife.

The ambulance was heavily damaged after striking the fence and stopping. Golightly fled, but he was later apprehended when a witness directed officers to him.

He remains in custody Monday on a charge of aggravated robbery, with bond set at $20,000. Online jail records did not indicate he has an attorney to comment on the case. 



Oklahoma medical helicopter crash: 1 killed, 2 injured

Sunday, March 15, 2015  By Tina Burnside and Ben Brumfield, CNN

A medical helicopter crashed in eastern Oklahoma on Thursday night, killing one person and injuring two other people, the McIntosh County Sheriff's Department said.

The helicopter was carrying three employees of medical air transport company EagleMed LLC when it went down in Eufaula, Oklahoma, at about 11:25 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The names of those aboard and details about the injuries, the purpose of the flight and what caused the crash weren't immediately released.

The helicopter was flying from Tulsa to McAlester, about 90 miles to the south, when it crashed west of Lake Eufaula, near the Canadian River, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. 

Eufaula is about 25 miles northeast of McAlester, the crew's intended destination.

FAA investigators were headed to the crash scene. The National Transportation Safety Board said it will investigate the wreck.

    CNN's Jason Hanna and John Newsome contributed to this report. 



    Eufaula Helicopter Crash Is Fourth For EagleMed In State Since 2010 - Oklahoma

    Sunday, March 15, 2015  TULSA, Oklahoma -Thursday night's fatal crash in McIntosh County is the fourth involving an EagleMed helicopter in Oklahoma since 2010.

    The EagleMed Eurocopter crashed at about 11:25 p.m. on March 12, 2015 near Lake Eufaula. The crashed killed the pilot. The two other employees on board were taken to a McAlester hospital.

    It's the fourth fatal incident in Oklahoma since July 2010 involving a medical helicopter operated by EagleMed.

    In July 2010, an EagleMed helicopter crashed four miles south of Kingfisher killing the pilot and a nurse. A paramedic survived the crash. The helicopter was en route to Okarche to pick up a patient.

    In February 2013, an EagleMed pilot and nurse died in a crash in northwest Oklahoma City. A paramedic was injured. The helicopter had just taken off from Baptist Hospital after transporting a patient from Watonga.

    In June 2013, an EagleMed helicopter taking off from the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina en route to Tulsa struck a light pole. Three EagleMed employees and a patient were on board. The employees survived, but the patient died.

    EagleMed operates out of five satellite bases in Oklahoma located in Hugo, McAlester, Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Tahlequah. 



    Jury convicts man who kicked paramedic in head after responder tried to help him - Pennsylvania

    Sunday, March 15, 2015  By Megan Trimble | 

    A Dauphin County jury convicted a Steelton man of aggravated assault of a paramedic Thursday after it was testified he kicked a medical responder in the back of the head.

    Jeffrey Carson, 59, was convicted of the charge stemming from a Feb. 4 incident, according to a news release from the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office.

    Paramedic William DiBerardine and his partner responded to a call on that date for assistance for Carson, who was reported to be intoxicated and had fallen down.

    Carson began yelling when the paramedic tried to assess the man's condition. At one point, Carson yelled that he was going to kill DiBerardine, swung at him and kicked him in the back of the head, according to the release.

    Paramedics are part of a protected class under Pennsylvania law and any attempt to cause them bodily injury during the course of their duties is considered a crime.

    Police intervened to subdue Carson so he could be medically treated. 



    Driver Arrested In Crash That Overturned Fire Rescue Truck - Florida

    Sunday, March 15, 2015  Joan Murray

    HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – The driver that allegedly caused a crash that injured six people, including himself, has been arrested.

    Claude Casimir, still in the hospital, was arrested Friday early afternoon.

    Investigators said Casimir was the driver of a silver sedan that caused the crash Thursday after he tried to speed off from a traffic stop. The car collided with a Broward Sheriff fire rescue truck which overturned from the impact.

    “He’s been cited ten prior times for traffic violations and has five previous suspension on his license,”  said Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez.

    One firefighter was treated and released Thursday. Another was released Friday. One of Broward firefighters remains hospitalized. No word yet on the other two that were injured in the crash.

    The impact sent one of the vehicles crashing into a fire hydrant.

    Three fire fighters were trapped inside of the overturned truck.

    Firefighter paramedic Lt. Tom Strok has the most serious injuries. He is suffering from cracked ribs and stitches in his face. He remains hospitalized.

    “In my 30 years of doing this job, I haven’t seen that significant amount of damage,” said Fernandez.

    Firefighter paramedic Mario Artze Ordialez who was riding in the back managed to get out of the vehicle and help his coworkers.

    “It’s my understanding that he used some of the tools to break glass in the driver’s cab of the rescue truck and assist in extricating his two wounded colleagues,” said Mike Jachles with BSO.

    Melvin Smith was driving in the area when he saw the crash.

    “I saw the car coming down the street, ran the stop sign, hit the ambulance,” said Smith.

    Smith told CBS4’s Travell Eiland Thursday he gave police officers a wrench to break the trucks windshield so the fire fighters could be pulled from the truck.

    Then witnesses noticed the three people were trapped inside of the car as well.

    Investigators said the driver of the mangled silver sedan car caused the crash after he tried to speed off from a traffic stop.

    All six people were rushed to the hospital, but all are expected to be okay.

    The fire fighters suffered minor injuries to their chests and shoulders.

    Hollywood Police have launched an investigation to determine why the man ran from a traffic stop 



    Aviation Lawyer Says Eufaula EagleMed Crash Not A Wake-Up Call

    Sunday, March 15, 2015  ALLISON HARRIS, NEWS ON 6

    EUFAULA, Oklahoma -

    NTSB investigators said initial reports show the weather likely played a part in the crashing of an EagleMed helicopter that killed a pilot.

    A lawyer, who has represented a victim in a previous EagleMed crash, said Thursday night's crash is no wake up call for the air ambulance industry.

    There have been so many fatalities, he said, it's past that point.

    Sadly, aviation lawyer, Ladd Sanger, said he's not surprised about another crash involving an air ambulance.

    He knows EagleMed is doing more to prevent accidents, but obviously, it's not enough.

    Sanger defended the victims of an EagleMed crash in Oklahoma City in 2013 where the pilot and a nurse died and a paramedic was injured.

    Since then, there have been two more fatal crashes; the most recent was Thursday night, where Pilot Matt Matthews was killed.

    “I will say I'm concerned about the safety history of EagleMed with four fatal crashes. That is significantly higher than the paramedical helicopter industry average," said Sanger.

    There were 62 air ambulance accidents between 1991 and 2010, claiming 125 lives.

    Last year, the FAA issued new, stricter flight rules and procedures.

    EagleMed has implemented new policies, but still has the highest accident rate in the industry, according to Sanger.

    "In my experience, the EagleMed folks have been very cooperative and attempted to do everything to help us get compensation for the victims' families," he said.

    Sanger lists three contributing factors to air ambulance crashes - weather, environment, including power lines, and the stress of getting to the scene.

    "There is competitive pressure to always get to the scene and always transport a patient and not turn down trips, even though the prudent thing to do would be to turn down trips," Sanger said.

    He said many air transports should be done on the ground.

    “Too often there are flights that are not medically necessary just to justify the use of keeping the helicopter at the hospital," he said.

    Sanger now expects the NTSB to bring the aircraft to Dallas, but send the engine to the manufacturer for further investigation.

    The president of EagleMed issued a statement saying the company will work closely with NTSB investigators.



    6 hospitalized after rollover crash involving fire truck - Florida

    Friday, March 13, 2015  HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- At least six people have been transported to the hospital after a rescue truck and a car collided Thursday afternoon, and police said the vehicle responsible for it all was fleeing from a police officer.

    The crash occurred at North 23rd Avenue and Hood Street just after 3 p.m. According to officials, Rescue 17, carrying three paramedics, was traveling to a call when it was struck by a late model silver Infiniti.

    Witnesses said the Infiniti may have ran a stop sign, resulting in the crash. "Guy eats the stop sign, rams right into the ambulance, flips the ambulance over, drags the car all the way over there," said one witness.

    The rescue truck would ultimately wind up on its side after striking a fire hydrant.

    Officials said the driver of the Infiniti had just been stopped at a speed checkpoint in Hollywood, but prior to being confronted by an officer, the driver fled.

    BSO Sheriff Scott Israel visited both the paramedics and the family members of the victims in the Infiniti at Memorial Regional Hospital. "I met with the firefighters, I met with the families. I believe one firefighter is gonna get released momentarily. The other two firefighters are gonna be looked at a little bit longer. We're hoping they get released, if not today, get kept overnight," he said.

    As paramedics rushed to the rescue truck, the witness said he rushed to the Infiniti and did what he could to rescue those inside. "Listen, I ran over there trying to save the little girl first because that's the only person I could actually get out," he said. "I can't grab ... a grown woman? She looked like she's like at least 140, 150 [pounds]. I'm dragging her out the car, I could hurt her."

    "The lady was all messed up. She was bleeding all here, all here," one witness said as she pointed at her face. "They did pick her up, she was hollering, and one of the policeman said that her hip, they think her hip is broken."

    Other nearby residents came to the paramedics' assistance to help the victims. "I had just seen a paramedic help try to break the guy out of the truck. I gave him my tools to break the window open," one resident said.

    There were a total of three people in the Infiniti. Most of the victims were rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, while one person was taken to Broward Health Medical Center.

    According to Israel, it appears the paramedics are going to be OK. "The injuries appear certainly to be non life-threatening, and again, if you look at pictures of the fire truck, they're lucky to be in the condition that they are," he said. "It could've been a lot worse."

    Authorities have not released the names of the people riding in the Infiniti. Their condition is unknown.

    One firefighter was released from the hospital Thursday evening. No charges were filed against the driver of the Infiniti. 



    Ambulance sideswipes pickup on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 - Florida

    Friday, March 13, 2015  A Lake EMS ambulance sideswiped a vehicle at 6:15 p.m. March 5 on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 at County Road 466.

    Ambulance driver Jordan A.  Ward, 21, of Clermont, had been traveling south on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 at CR466 when the accident occurred, according to an accident report released Wednesday.

    Edward A. Tillman, 36, of Lady Lake, was driving a 1994 Chevrolet pickup and and had slowed and was yielding to the oncoming ambulance when his vehicle was sideswiped, the accident report indicated. 



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