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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. 



Bath woman critically injured in crash with ambulance - New York

Friday, March 13, 2015  Jeff Murray, 

A Bath woman was in critical condition Thursday evening after her car collided with an ambulance Wednesday afternoon.

The ambulance, owned by Finger Lakes Ambulance and driven by Jami L. Haag, 29, of Geneva, was northbound on state Route 54 around 2:40 p.m. when it swerved around another vehicle that was slowing down to make a turn, according to state police at Bath.

The ambulance, which was returning from a transport, crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided nearly head-on with a vehicle driven by Teresa L. Snyder, 48, of Bath, troopers said.

Snyder had to be removed from her vehicle and was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, where she was in critical condition with a head injury on Thursday.

A paramedic on board the ambulance, David Forester, 55, of Dansville, was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where he was in guarded condition Thursday evening.

Haag and another passenger in the ambulance were not injured, state police said.

Haag was cited for unsafe speed and the investigation is continuing. State police were assisted at the scene by the Bath and Hammondsport volunteer fire departments, Steuben County Sheriff's Office, Steuben County Office of Emergency management and state police Troop E accident reconstruction team.

Follow Jeff Murray on Twitter @SGJeffMurray. 



Ambulance driver cited for unsafe speed in Bath crash - New York

Friday, March 13, 2015  By Derrick Ek

State police have cited the driver of an ambulance involved in a head-on collision Wednesday for driving at an unsafe speed.Jamie L. Haag, 29, of Geneva, was cited in the crash, which occurred around 2:40 p.m. and seriously injured two people.According to Bath-based New York State Police, Haag was driving a Finger Lakes Ambulance north on State Route 54 in the Town of Bath near Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital when he came upon a vehicle that was slowing to make a left turn into a business driveway.The ambulance was returning from a patient transport and was not in emergency operation at the time of the crash, state police say.To avoid the vehicle, Haag swerved into oncoming traffic and struck a Jeep Compass nearly head-on, state police report. Both vehicles were heavily damaged.The driver of the Jeep Compass, Teresa L. Snyder, 48, of Bath, had to be extricated from her SUV and was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. She is listed in critical condition with a head injury, police say.A paramedic on board the ambulance, David Forester, 55, of Dansville, was also injured in the collision.Forester was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and is listed in guarded condition, meaning his injuries could be life-threatening. Strong Memorial Hospital only provides two patient condition listings, satisfactory and guarded.Haag and another employee of Finger Lakes Ambulance who was riding in the front seat of the ambulance were not injured in the accident.A portion of State Route 54 was closed for three hours Wednesday afternoon while a state police Accident Reconstruction Team from Troop E investigated.The Bath and Hammondsport volunteer fire departments and ambulance services, the Lifenet air medical transport service, Rural/Metro Ambulance, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, and the Steuben County Office of Emergency Management assisted at the scene.The investigation is continuing. 



Fire Rescue truck overturns, crashes into fire hydrant in Hollywood - Florida

Friday, March 13, 2015  Author:  Amanda Batchelor, Senior Digital Editor,
Ross Palombo, Investigative Reporter,

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Six people were injured after a Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue truck and silver Infiniti crashed in a Hollywood neighborhood.

The neighborhood was flooded with water after the fire rescue truck crashed into a fire hydrant.

Sky 10 was above the scene about 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2300 block of Hood Street as water poured into the street from the fire hydrant.

Another car was seen in the front yard of a home with severe damage to the front of it while the truck was seen rolled on its side.

Authorities said a young couple was driving with an infant in the backseat, while the fire truck was on its way to another accident when the crash happened.

They said the driver of the car was seriously injured, but the woman who was riding in the passenger seat suffered minor injuries.

A woman who lives across the street from where the crash occurred rushed over to help the baby, who was trapped inside the car.

"She was yelling," Sharon Gayle told Local 10 News. "She was crying."

Local 10 News reporter Ross Palombo said the paramedics had to be pulled out of their vehicle through the windshield.

Hollywood police Chief Frank Fernandez said during a news conference that the crash happened after the driver of the Infiniti failed to stop for an officer trying to conduct a traffic stop. He said the driver ran a stop sign and then crashed into the fire truck.

Fernandez said five victims were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital and another to Broward Health Medical Center.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the three firefighters are expected to recover.

"They're lucky to be in the condition that they are," he said.

Israel said one of the firefighters suffered what appears to be a minor shoulder injury, one possibly suffered a concussion and the other had bruising on his chest and shoulder. One firefighter was released from the hospital later Thursday. 



Ambulance crash causes traffic delays on I-5 - California

Thursday, March 12, 2015  SACRAMENTO -- An ambulance crashed on Interstate 5 near Sutterville Road Wednesday morning. Both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital.

The San Joaquin County ambulance was headed south when the crash occurred. The California Highway Patrol said no other vehicles were involved.

Injuries to the passenger were possibly serious but not life threatening, according to officials. The ambulance was not responding to an emergency when it crashed.

Traffic was backed up for more than an hour as officers investigated. CHP said the crash remained under investigation.

The crash added to an ongoing slow morning commute for several areas: On I-80 from Roseville, on I-5 from Natomas and on Highway 99 and I-5 from Elk Grove. 



School bus, ambulance involved in crash in Orange City - Florida

Wednesday, March 11, 2015  ORANGE CITY, Fla. —A school bus, an ambulance and a pickup truck were involved in an accident in Orange City on Tuesday afternoon.

The ambulance had its lights and sirens activated and was making a left turn near Florida Hospital Fish Memorial when it was struck by a pickup truck that was hauling race motorcycles, police said. The accident sent the ambulance into a pole, and the pickup truck crashed into another vehicle and a school bus.

According to a Volusia County School's spokesperson, the bus was on its way to pick up students at University High School, and no students were on board. The driver was unhurt. A bus attendant and the attendant's child were checked out at the hospital.

Two paramedics in the ambulance were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Three men in the pickup truck from Wisconsin and Ohio are in town to race motorcycles at the Daytona 200. They were unhurt and still hope to race this weekend.

Police will review video to see who was at fault. 



School bus, ambulance, pickup truck crash in Volusia - Florida

Wednesday, March 11, 2015  Author:  Daniel Dahm, Managing Editor of,

ORANGE CITY, Fla. - A school bus, ambulance and pickup truck were involved in a crash Tuesday in Volusia County.

The crash happened around 2:45 p.m. near the intersection of Harley Strickland Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Parkway in Orange City.

Volusia school officials said the bus was headed to University High School, but the driver, bus attendant and the bus attendant's child were not injured in the crash.

The ambulance struck a pole, but it's not known if anyone was injured.

No other details were immediately known.




Ambulance, school bus among vehicles involved in Orange City crash - Florida

Wednesday, March 11, 2015  VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — 

Emergency crews are at the scene of a crash involving a school bus and an ambulance in Orange City.

The crash happened Tuesday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Harley Strickland Boulevard.

School district officials said the bus driver, a bus attendant and the bus attendant's elementary-school aged child were on the bus at the time of the accident. They were being checked by paramedics.

Officials said the bus was on its way to pick up students at University High School in Orange City when the accident happened. The three on the bus were being checked by paramedics.

The school system is sending another bus to the high school to pick up students.

Florida Highway Patrol Troopers said it was unclear if there were other injuries in the 3 p.m. accident.

FHP is investigating. 



HFD ambulance hits teen in SE Houston

Wednesday, March 11, 2015  A Houston Fire Department ambulance hit a 16-year-old boy Tuesday morning along a roadway in southeast Houston, officials said.

The incident happened about 11:20 a.m. on Broadway at Bellfort, according to HFD.

Officials said deatils about what led to the incident were not available. It was unclear if the boy was crossing the street or walking along it. It was also unclear if the ambulnace was on an emergency call when the collision occurred.

The boy, officials said, appeared to be unhurt and refused to be taken to a hospital. But paramedics were evaluating him at the scene to determine what, if any , injuires he might have and what treatment he may need. 



Ambulance crash victim taken off life support - New York

Monday, March 9, 2015  Alex Taylor,

SLEEPY HOLLOW – The 60-year-old victim in last week's ambulance crash is being taken off life support, according to her family.

Janet Hickey, of the Bronx, suffered multiple head and neck injuries when the ambulance transporting her crossed the roadway and crashed head-on into a utility pole on Route 9 south of Highland Avenue around 1:57 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

"There were attempts to revitalize her," Hickey's brother, Jay Doyle, said Sunday afternoon. "But we weren't left with much of a choice."

The SeniorCare Emergency Services ambulance, which was not using its lights or sirens at the time, was making a non-emergency trip from a New York City hospital to Phelps Memorial Hospital where Hickey was headed for rehab after brain surgery, police said.

Hickey was taken to Westchester Medical Center and was later declared brain dead, Doyle said.

Hickey, who would have turned 61 on Tuesday, was a longtime resident of City Island, where she worked at a local restaurant called Artie's Steak & Seafood. The family has decided to donate her organs.

"My sister was a very generous soul," Doyle said. "Hopefully, we can use her generosity to save a life in the future."

The 19-year-old driver and 55-year-old EMT worker were taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital with injuries that were non-life-threatening.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.




Ambulance struck in Putnam County - Indiana

Monday, March 9, 2015  PUTNAM COUNTY,Ind. (WISH) – An ambulance in Putnam County on the scene of a call to a residence was hit.

According to Indiana State Police, the medical emergency vehicle was struck late Sunday evening by 27-year-old Benjamin Weaver.

Police say Weaver’s car hit the ambulance while it was parked out in front of a residence.

No injuries were reported as the medical staff was inside the house at the time. Weaver was also found to be wearing his seat belt. 



Suspect arrested: 'Jesus Christ told me to steal an ambulance' - Houston

Monday, March 9, 2015  HOUSTON -- A man who is accused of stealing and crashing an ambulance in Midtown says he had a good reason.

The Houston Fire Department said the ambulance was stolen from 2121 Main Street near West Gray Street around 10 a.m.

The ambulance was recovered about 30 minutes later at Waugh and Gray Street, where it crashed into a 3 Men Movers truck.

"I was upstairs working and I heard a loud bang," said Randy Bingham, a witness. "I've never seen an ambulance involved in a collision like that, especially the way that it happened."

Police said the suspect was taken into custody at Dallas and Waugh.

"Lord Jesus Christ told me to steal the ambulance," he told a KHOU 11 News photographer.

One of the 3 Men Movers workers was injured and was transported to the hospital. There was no word on his condition. 



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