Submit Your Close Call / Near Miss
Friday, November 7, 2014
Another emergency responder in Lancaster County has died in an accident.Larry Joe of Wrightsville is the fourth member of the emergency services community to die in a vehicle accident since September; a fifth died when she fell ill after being wakened by a fire call.Joe, a long-time EMT with Lancaster EMS, died at the hospital Wednesday night, a day after crashing his pickup truck in West Lampeter Township.His EMS work partner, Dave Patterson, is mourning the loss of a “gentle giant” that will be felt by all in the emergency services community.“We’re a band of brothers,” he said. “Police, fire, EMS — we’re there for each other. When one suffers, we all feel it.”Joe, 63, was driving south on Lampeter Road on his way to work at the Lancaster EMS station in Strasburg, township police Officer Melissa Ransing said. He was wearing his uniform.At 6:42 a.m., Joe veered across the road near Glebe Lane into a yard at 1207 Lampeter Road and struck a tree, she said. His pickup truck flipped and landed on its roof.Both large branches of the tree were snapped off in the wreck, Lampeter Fire Company Chief John Alexander said.A few motorists stopped and pulled Joe out of the truck as smoke started coming from the vehicle.Joe regained consciousness when he was lying on the ground, Ransing said.“He told me he was having trouble steering” right before he wrecked, the officer said.A firefighter used an extinguisher to put out a small fire in the lower part of the engine compartment, Alexander said.Some of Joe’s EMS colleagues were called to the wreck and took care of him.“He was cracking jokes with them in the back of the (ambulance),” Patterson said. “He was in a lot of pain, but still making small wisecracks.”Joe was transported to Lancaster General Hospital for treatment of what Ransing thought were only non-life-threatening injuries.He fractured his back and had a small cut on his head, she said.Joe’s surgery late Wednesday afternoon went well, Patterson said, but later, complications developed.Joe was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10 p.m.Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said an autopsy will be conducted Friday.Police are still investigating to determine what caused the crash. No alcohol was involved and police don’t believe Joe was speeding, Ransing said.Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the wreck to call them at 464-2421.Patterson has worked three 12-hour shifts with Joe at Lancaster EMS every week for the last three years.“Larry was a gentle giant and a hard worker,” Patterson said. “He was soft-spoken, low-key, humble, but also very witty. He could take a joke and really dish them out, too.”Patterson could always count on Joe.“If I called him at 2 a.m and said, ‘I need you,’ he would have dropped everything in a heartbeat to get there for me,” Patterson said.C. Robert May, Lancaster EMS’s executive director, met Joe in 1980 when May worked as a paramedic out of Community Hospital and Joe was an EMT in East Lampeter Township.Joe had volunteered in East Lampeter in the late 1970s and then transitioned to a paid EMT position, May said.“When I heard his voice on the radio, I always knew I was going to have outstanding care to assist me as a paramedic when I would arrive at a scene,” May said.Patterson said Joe always had great pride in the fact that he delivered 25 babies who wouldn’t wait for the ambulance to get to the hospital.“I don’t know of anyone who has that many,” Patterson said.Joe also mentored new employees and students as an assistant EMT instructor throughout his career.When not at work, Joe centered his life around his wife, Naomi, and their family.He went to his grandchildren’s sports and other activities, and enjoyed working in his woodworking shed with them, Patterson said.In his younger years, Joe worked as a carpenter and photographer.His death was the fifth loss of a fire company or EMS member in a traffic accident or responding to a call in less than two months.A driver of a piece of farm equipment struck and killed 56-year-old Roseanna O. Newswanger, of Narvon, as she was riding her bicycle along Shirktown Road Oct. 31, police said.She was a member of the Caernarvon Fire Company, where she was a member of the ladies’ auxiliary for about 15 years.Firefighter Christi Marie Rodgers, 26, died Oct. 24 when she became ill at her Fulton Township home after being wakened by a fire call.The volunteer firefighter for 10 years with the Robert Fulton and Rawlinsville fire companies died from blood clots in the lungs, leaving behind her husband and 1-month-old son.Two Honey Brook firefighters were killed and a third was injured Sept. 19 when the pickup truck in which they were riding collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 340 in Salisbury Township.The accident also claimed a third man.Jake Long, 19, who was driving the pickup, and passenger Benuel Stoltzfus, 23, both of Honey Brook, died in the fiery crash, as did passenger Marcus Ruff, 26, of Downingtown. Long and Stoltzfus are members of Honey Brook Fire Company.Jake Zook, 23, of Honey Brook, also a Honey Brook firefighter, was a passenger in the truck but escaped with injuries that were not life-threatening.“I’ve worked for 23 years and I’m at the point right now that I’m tired with dealing with death,” Patterson said. “We’re indirectly one big family so what happens at one agency has a ripple effect.”May said the recent losses have brought the emergency community closer together.“I’ve been in the business for 37 years,” he said. “It continues to amaze me the camaraderie and support of one another when something tragic happens.”
Sunday, November 2, 2014
The Des Moines Police Department has identified the people involved in a Saturday collision involving an ambulance and truck.The crash occurred on the East Sixth Street bridge over Interstate Highway 235 at about 7:30 p.m.Police believe the ambulance was driving south and the truck was driving west when they collided.The crash caused the truck to flip onto its roof and the ambulance into its side.The driver of the pickup, Stanley Paulson, 66, is in critical condition.The driver of the ambulance Scott Rivers, 45, and a second person, Daniel Butz, 21, were transported to Mercy Hospital following the collision.Kim Chapman, president and CEO of Midwest Ambulance Service of Iowa, confirmed in a statement that two emergency medical services professionals "were involved in a serious accident while responding to an emergency dispatch.""Both crew members are being treated at a local hospital and we are focused on their well being," Chapman said in the statement.The police department's traffic unit was investigating the crash."Midwest Ambulance has and will continue to assist law enforcement officials as they conduct their investigation," Chapman said in the statement. "We offer our thoughts and prayers to all those who were involved in this accident as well as their families, friends and loved ones."
Sunday, November 2, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa —Des Moines police are investigating a crash on a bridge over Interstate 235 that caused an ambulance to roll over onto its side.The accident happened Saturday evening on the East 6th Street overpass over I-235, just east of the Des Moines River.Des Moines police say the ambulance was headed south on East 6th when a westbound red pickup truck T-boned the ambulance.A police report said the ambulance had its emergency lights and sirens on when it ran through a red light. The truck had a green light as it was heading to the on ramp of I-235 when the vehicles collided.The ambulance rolled onto its side, trapping two people for a while.The driver of the ambulance was identified as Scott Rivers, 45, and the second victim was Daniel Butz, 21.Both were taken to Mercy hospital and were treated for their injuries.The ambulance is owned by Midwest Ambulance Company of Des Moines. Police say there were no patients inside the ambulance at the time of the crash.Police say the two people inside the pickup truck were injured and taken to the hospital. The driver, Stanley Paulson, 66, is in serious but stable condition at Mercy.Kim Chapman, president and CEO of Midwest Ambulance, said Rivers and Butz were being treated at a local hospital, and the company is focused on their well-being."Midwest Ambulance has and will continue to assist law enforcement officials as they conduct their investigation," Chapman said in a statement. "We offer our thoughts and prayers to all those who were involved in this accident, as well as their families, friends and loved ones."
Saturday, November 1, 2014
By Amanda Emery | email@example.comFLINT, MI -- An alleged drunk driver got behind the wheel of their vehicle and caused an accident with an ambulance transporting a patient, according to a Flint police report.Flint Police were following an ambulance making its way to Hurley Medical Center transporting a patient on Wednesday, Oct. 29, around 11 a.m. According to the report the ambulance was then involved in a traffic crash on Stewart Avenue.Police said the driver of the other vehicle was found to be intoxicated, according to the report. The suspect was arrested for operating while intoxicated and driving while license suspended, and was later lodged in the Flint City Lockup.No further information was released.Amanda Emery is a police reporter for MLive-Flint Journal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-285-0792. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
By Ian WhitakerFour people, including two paramedics, were hospitalized today after an SUV and an ambulance responding to an emergency call collided in a southwest valley intersection, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.The accident happened at 10:08 a.m. at the intersection of Blue Diamond Road and Durango Drive, Trooper Loy Hixson said. A Clark County Fire Department ambulance was headed west on Blue Diamond with its siren and emergency lights activated when it came to a red light at Durango, he said.The ambulance slowed down before entering the intersection, and other vehicles stopped to let it through, Hixson said. The ambulance was almost clear of the intersection when a Chevy Tahoe headed south on Durango hit it on the right side, Hixson said.Two paramedics on the ambulance were taken to University Medical Center with minor injuries, Hixson said.A female passenger in the Tahoe was taken to UMC with serious injuries, and the male driver was transported with minor injuries, Hixson said.Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan said all four patients were reported to be in stable condition.The ambulance was responding to a report of fire at a home in a neighborhood a few blocks from where the crash occurred, Buchanan said.An investigation of the crash is ongoing, Hixson said.Durango was closed in both directions at the intersection, while one lane in either direction remained open on Blue Diamond, Hixson said. He said it would be about 1 p.m. before the intersection is open.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -A Clark County Fire Department vehicle responding to an emergency was involved in a crash in the southwest end of the Las Vegas Valley, troopers confirmed Friday.According to Trooper Loy Hixson with Nevada Highway Patrol, the CCFD vehicle and a Chevy Tahoe were involved in the wreck on Blue Diamond Road and Durango Drive. Clark County reported the time of the incident at 9:51 a.m.The county said the unit was responding to a reported building fire when the accident happened. Hixson said the paramedic unit was heading westbound and entered the intersection with its lights and sirens active.The ambulance was then struck on its right side by the sport-utility vehicle going southbound on Durango, NHP said.Two people in the ambulance and two occupants in the SUV were rushed to University Medical Center. The county said all patients were in stable condition.NHP was still determining if the SUV's drivers would be facing any charges as a result of the incident.NHP said Durango was shut down with each direction being diverted onto Blue Diamond. In addition, Blue Diamond was restricted to only one lane in each direction.Stay tuned to FOX5 for the latest on this developing story.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
By Bill WichertMoments after receiving a 13-year prison sentence for causing a 2012 crash that killed two people, James Sterling today turned to the victims’ families and said he never meant to cause the deaths of their loved ones.“I just want to apologize,” Sterling told the family members from across a Newark courtroom. “I’m truly sorry. I hope y’all can find it in your heart to forgive me.”Sterling, 30, also known as James Megget, of Elizabeth, was sentenced to 13 years for causing the multi-vehicle crash in Newark on Nov. 19, 2012 that ultimately claimed the lives of Keith Chipepo and Martha Conley, who were riding in an ambulance at the time of the collision.Under a plea deal, Sterling pleaded guilty on July 17 to two counts of aggravated manslaughter. He was originally indicted on charges of aggravated manslaughter, eluding, aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, driving with a suspended license and causing death while driving with a suspended license.Sterling must serve about 11 years before he becomes eligible for parole, and his sentence will run concurrent to a prison term he’s serving for a parole violation.The case represents Sterling’s seventh felony conviction. His prior convictions were for aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy, possession of narcotics and weapons offenses, prosecutors said.The family members of Chipepo and Conley declined to speak during the sentencing hearing.“Both families are very upset as to the actions that have taken place,” Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Hollingsworth told Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler.In a statement read by Hollingsworth during today’s hearing, the Chipepo family described Keith Chipepo as “a kind, joyful father, brother, son, and friend.”“He loved life, and he worked hard every day for his family and for everything he had,” the statement read. “We will always miss his smile.”Referring to Sterling, the statement continued: “You played a role in taking him from us but your family will have a chance to see you again while you are incarcerated.“For that, we hope you will never forget the part you took in taking the life of someone so great in our hearts,” the statement added. “You are fortunate to have the presence of your family, but we are left with just a memory of our beloved son & brother, taken from us way too soon.”The crash occurred at South Orange Avenue and South 9th Street in Newark when Sterling was driving a Chrysler Pacifica SUV, ran a red light and struck the ambulance, setting off a collision that also included a food truck and a county transportation bus, prosecutors said.As part of his 13-count indictment, Sterling had been charged with eluding police at the time of the crash.Chipepo, 30, of Montclair, who was employed by the private ambulance company, was killed in the crash, authorities said. Conley, 58, of Newark, who was a patient in the ambulance, died from her injuries on Nov. 28, 2012, authorities said.In handing down today’s sentence, Wigler said he hopes Sterling will reflect on his crime and “the devastation that you caused not one, but two families.”“Only time will tell if you’re gonna change your ways,” the judge said.Bill Wichert may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillWichertNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
By Frank Donnelly | firstname.lastname@example.org STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – An Oakwood woman, who drove the wrong way on a South Shore street five months ago and crashed into an ambulance, has admitted to drunken driving.Rebecca Cassiliano, 58, was traveling the wrong way in a 2002 Hyundai Elantra on Father Capodanno Boulevard, near Sand Lane, when she struck the ambulance, just before 10 p.m. on May 27, said police.No one was injured, police said.However, Ms. Cassiliano was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred when she emerged from her car, cops said. Her eyes were watery, and her breath smelled of alcohol, police said.A test showed Ms. Cassiliano's blood alcohol content was .192 percent – more than double the .08 percent threshold for driving while intoxicated in New York, said a criminal complaint.Ms. Cassiliano pleaded guilty Tuesday in Stapleton Criminal Court to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated, according to information from District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.She was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay a $500 fine. Her driver's license was revoked for six months and she must install an ignition-interlock device for a year after her license is reinstated.Ms. Cassiliano was also ordered to participate in a drunken-driving-prevention program and a victim-impact panel, said Mark J. Fonte, her lawyer. The panel puts individuals face-to-face with victims of drunken drivers and their families, who relate their stories of loss and pain."I'm glad I was able to achieve closure on this matter," Fonte said.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
HOUSTON — A man stole an ambulance from a Houston hospital before crashing it into a tree shortly after.The driver told police he needed a ride and the ambulance was the first thing he saw, ABC 13 reports.The ambulance was parked in the hospital’s loading dock with the keys still in the vehicle.Police found the crashed ambulance against a tree with the suspect still in the area. He was immediately taken into custody.
Monday, October 27, 2014
By Brian BoesenFire crews say they were forced to wage a defensive battle in a late night fire at the Trinity Ambulance building in Rock Island.Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Yerkey, crews were called to the building at 4468 48th Ave. Ct after 10:30 Saturday night, after witnesses reported seeing flames and heavy smoke. According to Yerkey, the east end of the building was fully engulfed when crews arrived.Yerkey says the building is used for ambulances and medical equipment, including oxygen tanks. He says the nature of the fire and the potential of those tanks exploding kept firefighters from going inside.“Based on the amount of fire, the type of the construction of the building, it's a type II building with a lot of metal which can deform and cause collapse, and because of the contents, they decided to just go defensive and spray water from the outside,” said Jeff Yerkey, Assistant Fire Chief.No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. The fire department will investigate as soon as it's safe to enter the building.
Monday, October 27, 2014
MARSHALL, Missouri (AP) — A patient in an ambulance has been killed in a nearly head-on collision with a dump truck in thick fog in Saline County.The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the victim as 77-year-old Gary L. Page of Slater. He died Saturday morning when the ambulance collided with a dump truck that was stopped in traffic on Missouri 240 while the driver waiting to turn onto Missouri 41.The ambulance’s driver sustained moderate injuries and a 70-year-old passenger was seriously injured. Both were transported to University Hospital in Columbia.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
An intoxicated Mount Carmel couple face multiple charges after reportedly taking their young child to a Blountville store, where the father soon passed out with a bag of meth and his wife punched a responding paramedic.The incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday at the Dollar General on Highway 11-W, at the intersection with Highway 394. Officers responded to a report of an erratic woman inside the store, finding Rhonda Middleton, 35, of 546 Beech St., "acting incoherent, unbalanced on her feet."A Sullivan County Sheriff's Office police report notes that Middleton "was dosing in and out" while speaking with officers and couldn't pay attention to commands. EMS were called to check on her health, as she allegedly claimed to be diabetic and her blood sugar was dropping, but medical personal found her level's were appropriate. Middleton also refused to be transported to an area hospital for further examination.Meanwhile, her husband was located passed out in a car in the parking lot. Police report that it took "several attempts" to awaken Rodney Middleton, 35, with him refusing any treatment from EMS. He allegedly admitted to driving his wife and daughter, age 5, to the store, then performed poorly on field sobriety tests.An SCSO incident report states that as police were charging Rodney Middleton for DUI, EMS escorted his daughter out of sight of her father's arrest. This reportedly enraged Rhonda Middleton, who ran away from police and towards the paramedic, punching her in the face.A deputy pulled Rhonda Middleton off the EMS worker and detained her on the ground of the parking lot. Middleton was then charged with simple assault and public intoxication. She was also charged with child neglect, reads an incident report, as her actions at the scene adversely affected her daughter's welfare.A Department of Children's Services case worker responded to take temporary custody of the girl. Following transport to jail, a clear baggy of meth was located in the pocket of Rodney Middleton, prompting a charge of drug possession.An investigation is continuing against the couple with additional charges pending.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Flight medic Erasmus “Johan” van der Colff IV died Wednesday night from injuries sustained in a medical helicopter crash in Wichita Falls.Colff’s death marks the third fatality resulting from the October 4th crash, TexomasHomePage reports.Flight nurse Leslie Stewart, 28, died from injuries on October 8th. The patient on board, Buddy Rhodes, 28, died in the crash. The pilot, Zechariah Smith, survived the crash with serious injuries.A report filed with the NTSB indicates during an attempt to land, the pilot lost control of the helicopter and it began to spin. It spun five times before crashing and bursting into flames.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
DETROIT — Two medics were assaulted after Detroit dispatchers failed to identify the call as a possible violent situation. The medics were responding to a report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle, when three members of a crowd attacked them, WXYZ reports."There was information that there was fighting on the scene and that information never made it to the medics," said Joseph Barney who represents Detroit EMS workers under the Police Officers Association of Michigan.For safety reasons, EMS workers will wait for police support if violence is reported on the scene."We're there to help people," said Barney. "We're unarmed."It remains unclear why dispatch did not inform the medics of fighting, and efforts are being made to improve communication.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
By Erica CoghillLOUISVILLE, Ky. —An ambulance and Jefferson County Public Schools bus collided Wednesday afternoon, sending two EMTs to the hospital.The ambulance was responding to a crash and it collided with the bus at the intersection of Dr. WJ Hodge and Main streets. The ambulance swerved to avoid the bus, but clipped it and flipped on its side. The two EMTs were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No children were on the school bus. The bus driver was not hurt.
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