THOMASVILLE | An ambulance transporting a patient to Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem received significant damage after it collided with an SUV at the intersection of N.C. Highway 109 North and West Lexington Avenue Extension.
First responders were dispatched to the wreck at 8:27 a.m. Monday, said Zach Jordan, deputy chief of the Hasty Volunteer Fire Department.
Trooper S.E. McHenry said Phillip Leonard, 41, of High Point, was traveling west on West Lexington Avenue Extension crossing N.C. 109 in a Land Rover when he did not see an ambulance with sirens and lights flashing heading north on N.C. 109. The ambulance, driven by Maxwell Messinger of Salisbury, had stopped at the intersection to make sure he was clear to continue onto N.C. 109 North. McHenry said Messinger proceeded northbound at a low rate of speed when he was struck by Leonard who was traveling about 40 miles per hour.
Leonard thought he was clear to proceed because he also had the green light, McHenry said.
“We should all look before we (get into an intersection),” McHenry said. “That’s what I told him (Leonard). I told him to always look before you cross regardless of the light (being green).”
Leonard, who was carrying his 3-year-old and 3-month-old children, was charged with failing to yield for emergency traffic. Jordan said Leonard and two passengers were uninjured.
Jeff Smith, director of Davidson County Emergency Services, said the ambulance was hit in the back quarter at the rear wheels. The ambulance spun around and struck the guardrail on N.C. 109.
“It was actually against the guardrail. They had to pull it up to get the patient out,” Smith said.