Tuesday, November 20, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An ambulance attendant was killed in a crash that is believed to have stemmed from a police chase in Newark, N.J., Monday.
As CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported, the crash happened early Monday afternoon at 9th Street and Orange Avenue.
Witnesses said a car was being chased down the street, and led to the multiple car crash when it hit the intersection.
Keith Chipepo, 30, of Montclair, N.J., was killed in the accident when a Chrysler Pacifica that was apparently being chased by police slammed into the private ambulance in which he was riding.
The tipped-over ambulance sat Monday at the center of a mangled chain-reaction mess that occurred during the police chase through the streets of Newark.
“It all happened so fast,” said witness Carl Washington. “It was, like, crazy.”
Witnesses say the blue vehicle was being chased and that it was behind the ambulance, which did not have its lights on. The ambulance driver apparently drove into the intersection trying to get out of the way of the police chase coming up fast from behind.
The chain-reaction also included a food distribution truck and an Essex County transportation bus.
“He didn’t know how to get out the way, so being as though his way of getting out of the way was coming out into South Orange Avenue a little bit,” said witness Cathy Jones. “That’s when the Essex County transportation vehicle hit him and he flipped over.”
“The man who was in the back of the ambulance, he flew out the ambulance,” Washington added. “It looked like something that came off a movie or something. It was really crazy.”
When the vehicles came to rest, someone was trapped under the ambulance.
“He had on a beige shirt and he was screaming help,” said witness Kcysha Zahir. “He had blood coming from his head.”
Chipepo was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark, where three other injured people were also taken. They included the 26-year-old ambulance driver from West Orange, a 57-year-old woman, and a 34-year-old Bloomfield man who was driving the food truck, police said.
All three remained hospitalized as of early Monday evening. Their conditions were not available.
The county bus driver declined treatment.
Earlier Monday, three Newark police officers were injured in a crash two blocks away near 15th Avenue and South 7th Street. The officers were on their way to the scene of a shooting at 19th Street and Springfield Avenue, according to NJ.com.
That incident left Joel Evans, 31, of Newark, dead of multiple gunshots. The homicide remained under investigation Monday night.
Authorities said they would release additional information about the ambulance crash later Monday evening, including why the car was being chased.