ALTONA — Champlain EMS driver Eric Monty suffered a medical incident behind the wheel that appears to have caused the ambulance crash on Route 190 early Tuesday.
Chris Trombley, a deputy fire coordinator for Clinton County Emergency Services and member of Champlain EMS, said that's an early finding from the autopsy on the Mooers man, who was pronounced dead by Clinton County Coroner David Donah at the site of the accident at the Duley Road intersection.
"It's a horrific day," Trombley said.
At 12:17 a.m., State Police received a call that an ambulance had crashed, State Police Capt. Brent Gillam said.
Monty, 45, of Mooers was driving southeast on Route 190 when the vehicle went off the road via the west shoulder, struck a drainage ditch, a guywire and an embankment and stopped with part of the vehicle in the Duley Road, he said.
Injured were Monty's sister Susan Roberts, 52, an EMT on board; technician Peter Coulombe, 26, of Champlain; and patient Gary Lamarche, 55, of Altona who had been on his way to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh when the crash occurred
Trombley was relieved to report that Coulombe, who suffered a head injury and had been transferred from the Plattsburgh hospital to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, underwent successful surgery on Tuesday.
"He's doing much better."
Roberts, too, had gained some ground at CVPH.
"Obviously, both are in serious condition, but she's improving."
Lamarche was in stable condition after arriving at CVPH following the crash; an updated status was unavailable Tuesday morning.
The ambulance, stationed at Mooers Volunteer Fire Department, was providing mutual aid to the Altona Fire District.
At the time of the crash, the weather was cloudy but the roads were dry, Gillam said.
State Police continue to investigate the accident.
Monty was a member of the Mooers Volunteer Fire Department. His wife, Norma Jean Monty, died in October 2010. He leaves a daughter, McKayla A. Monty.
"He was a real good man; a good father," Mooers Town Supervisor Cory Ross said Tuesday morning, about an hour after learning of the accident.
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