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2 remain hospitalized after crash with ambulance - Michigan

Friday, April 3, 2015  Beth LeBlanc, Times Herald

Two people remain hospitalized after a crash with an ambulance Wednesday night, according to a statement from the Port Huron Police Department.

The crash happened about 9:10 p.m. at the intersection of Pine Grove Avenue and Harker Street.

A Tri-Hospital EMS ambulance was traveling south on Pine Grove Avenue with a 71-year-old patient. The ambulance was headed to McLaren Port Huron hospital in an emergency capacity.

The ambulance driver allegedly went through a red light at Harker and hit the driver side of a vehicle exiting the Interstate 94/I-69 connector onto Harker Street, according to the statement.

Port Huron firefighters extricated both people in the personal vehicle.

The 29-year-old Washington Township resident driving the ambulance and a Port Huron firefighter assisting with the patient were taken to McLaren Port Huron hospital and later released.

Another medic in the ambulance, a 27-year-old Algonac resident, was taken to McLaren Port Huron and transferred to McLaren Macomb. He later was released.

The 26-year-old St. Clair resident driving the car and a 20-year-old China Township passenger were taken to McLaren Port Huron and later transferred to McLaren Macomb. Their conditions have not been released.

Ken Cummings, chief executive officer for Tri-Hospital EMS, said the patient in the ambulance was turned over to another ambulance crew and taken to the hospital.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this unfortunate situation," Cummings said, in an email. "We are working closely with the police department as the investigation continues."

The crash remains under investigation, according to police.

According to the Michigan Vehicle Code, emergency vehicles can pass through a red light or stop sign, but must slow down before the intersection.

Contact Beth LeBlanc at (810) 989-6259 or Follow her on Twitter @THBethLeBlanc.




Assault at ambulance base injures paramedic - Missouri

Friday, April 3, 2015  Gene Hartley, digital content editor/producer,


Christian County sheriff's deputies are investigating an assault of a paramedic on Tuesday.   An ambulance took the CoxHealth paramedic to a hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Sheriff Joey Kyle says detectives determined the assault is an isolated incident.  He says there is no reason to believe anybody else is in danger.  The assault occurred at the ambulance base in Spokane.

No one would discuss the assault on the record with a reporter on Wednesday.  In a news release on Thursday, Kyle said the injured paramedic is cooperating with detectives and provided a detailed statement about what happened.

Kyle says detectives need to do several more interviews before wrapping up the investigation.




4 hurt in Port Huron ambulance crash - Michigan

Friday, April 3, 2015  PORT HURON, Mich. - Authorities say four people were hurt Wednesday night in a crash involving an ambulance in Port Huron.

The crash happened around 9 p.m. at Harker Street and Pine Grove Avenue when a Tri-Hospital EMS ambulance was traveling in an emergency capacity southbound on Pine Grove towards Mclaren Hospital. A 71 year old patient inside the ambulance was having medical attention administered. Police said it appears the driver of the EMS ambulance ran through a red light at Harker, striking the driver side of a car exiting the I-94/I-69 connector onto Harker. Both occupants in the car were trapped inside the vehicle and had to be

freed by Port Huron Fire Division personnel. 

The driver of the ambulance, a 29-year-old Washington Twp. resident, and a Port Huron Firefighter assisting with the patient in the back of the ambulance were treated at Mclaren Port

Huron hospital and released. A second medic in the ambulance, a 27-year-old Algonac resident, was taken to Mclaren Port Huron and transferred to Mclaren Macomb hospital. He has also since been released.

The driver of the car, a 26-year-old St. Clair resident, and passenger of the car, a 20-year-old China Twp. resident, were taken to Port Huron Mclaren Hospital and later transferred to

McLaren Macomb, due to the severity of their injuries. Their current conditions are not being released at this time by McLaren Macomb hospital. 



Maumelle police release video of crash with MEMS - Arkansas

Wednesday, April 1, 2015  MAUMELLE (KATV) - Maumelle Police Department released a video Thursday of an accident from December involving a Maumelle police officer and MEMS first responders. The accident landed a paramedic in intensive care at the hospital.Captain Jim Hansard with the Maumelle Police Department said the department has been working to regain the video since the crash.

“We actually deinstalled the machine of the car and sent it in to the manufacturer and they were able to get the video out. That's why it took so long to get it,” Hansard said.

MEMS Operations Director, Greg Thompson, said the paramedic who was in the back of the ambulance suffered serious injuries.

"He was in ICU for a few days. I mean he was...very significant injuries to his upper torso,” Thompson said. “He went forward and hit that refrigerator and if we could have slowed him down it would have made a difference. If he had have had a helmet it would have made a difference There's a lot of little things that if it would have been in place it would have made a difference."

Hansard said the officers have continued to go through safety training when it comes to driving the vehicles.

“We put them through simulator training for one thing over at the municipal league. They each go through a class that takes them through different scenarios on how to perform behind the wheel and that sort of thing. We try to keep on top of training,” Hansard said.

For the first time since the accident, the injured paramedic is back to work as of this week.

"He recovered very well. He just got back on the truck this week. He's going through kind of a reorientation phase to be back fully functioning in a month,” Thompson said.

According to Hansard, the officer driving the vehicle was reprimanded.

"He got less than 'days off' but it was substantial enough to show on his record that in case something else were to happen it would impact him pretty severely,” Hansard said. “Spotless record other than this, it was just an unfortunate accident. What can we say? It was clearly our fault. We will try to avoid this kind of thing in the future.”

Thompson said MEMS is focusing on making its ambulances safer for first responders.

“We've added this netting all of the trucks now are getting. We are sending the trucks down one at a time. We are putting these straps inside. These red straps aren't just there to secure the person. The red straps are there to secure equipment,” Thompson said.

MEMS first responders and MPD officers do a lot of driving, which Hansard and Thompson said makes situations like December's accident harder to deal with.

"We run two shifts a day. 7a to 7p, and 7p to 24 hours a day these guys are on the street and they average about a hundred miles per car per shift. That's 400 miles hours per shift, 800 miles per day, that's a lot of driving in a city this size,” Hansard said.

"We looked at that accident to figure out what we can do to make it safer. We drive a million miles more a year and so these accidents are very rare, so what can we do to make it safer for our crews,” Thompson said.

Both agencies told Channel 7 they understood it was a true accident and are focusing on safety. 



Police: 12 hurt in school bus crash; ambulance driver had suspended license - Indiana

Wednesday, April 1, 2015  John Scheibel, (219) 548-4358

UNION TOWNSHIP | Twelve students were injured in a crash Tuesday morning involving a Valparaiso Community Schools bus and a Superior Ambulance Service ambulance.

Police said the driver of the ambulance was driving with a suspended license.

Two Superior Ambulance employees and a patient in the ambulance were taken to local hospitals.

Porter County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Larry LaFlower said the collision was reported just before 8:45 a.m. on Ind. 130 at County Road 625 West.

LaFlower said of the 12 students injured, one was taken to Porter Regional Hospital, five were taken to Porter's Portage Hospital Campus, and six were treated and released at the scene of the crash. LaFlower said all of the injuries to the students were minor.

LaFlower said school officials had notified parents of the children involved.

Officials at the scene reported 59 fifth-grade students from Memorial Elementary School and three adults were headed to the Challenger Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond on a field trip.

Police said the initial investigation shows the school bus was westbound on Ind. 130 and the ambulance was southbound on County Road 625 West.

LaFlower said the driver of the ambulance, failed to yield the right of way to the bus. He said the license of the driver, a 23-year-old Griffith man, was suspended/infraction.

LaFlower said anyone with a suspended license should not be operating a motor vehicle in Indiana. He said the driver faces multiple citations. Driving with a suspended/infraction status is not an arrestable offense, LaFlower said.

Witnesses told police the ambulance had no emergency lights or sirens operating at the time of the crash.

LaFlower did not know the nature of the ambulance run at the time of the crash.

Calls on Tuesday to Superior Ambulance and Valparaiso Community Schools were not returned. 



ER patient arrested after high speed chase in stolen ambulance - Texas

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  KAUFMAN, Texas — An ambulance was stolen Tuesday from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman and the suspect led police on a chase.

Police said the suspect was a patient, identified as Jennifer Lee Luke, 34, who left the hospital's emergency room and sped away with the ambulance.

The 10-minute pursuit — first by Kaufman city police and then by county units — ended near Kemp, southeast of Kaufman, after deputies were able to get ahead of the fleeing vehicle to put down "spike strips" that deflated the tires and brought the ambulance to a halt on County Road 148. 

Luke hit two cars and nearly ran over several pedestrians, Kaufman police said.

"The lady that took the ambulance... we'll never know why she did it," said Kaufman police Chief Dana Whitaker. "She was a patient over at the hospital, as far as we know, went out and got in it and took off... struck a car over there. As far as we know, nobody was hurt."

Whitaker added that in his 37 years of law enforcement, he's never seen anything quite like this case.

Luke was taken into custody and booked at the Kaufman County Jail under a $180,000 bond. She has been charged with Theft of Property over $100K, Evading Arrest or Detention With A Vehicle, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Duty on Striking Unattended Vehicle.




Tuesday, March 31, 2015  DUMONT (WABC) -- 
An ambulance overturned during a multi-vehicle accident in New Jersey late Monday morning.

There were at least three vehicles involved in the crash along Knickerbocker Road, at the intersection of Grant Avenue, in Dumont.

Several people were injured, with at least one taken away by ambulance, and Knickerbocker Road was shut down between Lexington Avenue and Grant Avenue.

There is no word on what led to the crash or the extent of the injuries.

The ambulance that overturned belonged to Guardian EMS, based out of Paterson. 

The company has not commented. 



Pilot killed in medical helicopter crash encountered "lowering clouds" - Oklahoma

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  By Glenn Puit |David Dishman
McAlester News-Capital

EUFAULA, Okla. — The pilot of a medical transport helicopter that crashed near Eufaula Thursday night encountered a lowering cloud ceiling and was attempting to turn the aircraft around at the time of the tragedy, according to comments by a federal official.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Tom Latson and a team of experts are investigating the deadly crash of the EagleMed air ambulance chopper Thursday night in rugged, remote terrain west of Eufaula. The helicopter pilot, Matt Mathews, was killed. Two crew members, Kim Ramsey and Paramedic Ryan Setzkorn, survived.

Latson said the crew had just transported a McAlester teen critically injured in a vehicle accident to St. Francis Health System in Tulsa and was on a return flight back to the McAlester Regional Airport at the time of the 11: 25 p.m. crash. Latson confirmed during a phone interview Monday with the News-Capital that the pilot encountered a lowering cloud cover just prior to the crash.

"While en route (back to McAlester,) the helicopter encountered lowering clouds, and the pilot had made the decision to return to Tulsa because of the lowering clouds," Latson said. "The lowering ceiling, (the clouds were) going from high to low."

The helicopter crashed during what Latson described as a left turn.

"During their left turn to return to Tulsa, they impacted trees and rocky terrain due eastbound," Latson said. "The wreckage distribution was from west to east.

"The helicopter was technically destroyed by the impact," Latson said. "The rotor blades impacted trees, the fuselage impacted trees. The tail boom was separated from the aircraft and found less than 100 feet from the main wreckage. The front-end of the helicopter was separated from the main fuselage.”

Latson said the main fuselage came to rest on its side.

"One of the crew members on board used a cell phone to notify his home base of his location and extracted the other person from the wreckage,” Latson said. “They waited for rescuers."

Latson said a thorough investigation will seek to identify a cause of the crash. When asked if the lowering cloud cover encountered by the pilot played a role in the crash, Latson said it was not his job to offer an opinion on what caused the crash but instead to discern as many facts as possible about the tragedy. Those facts will then be forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board for a full review.

"The main reason we do an exceptionally thorough and sometimes painfully long investigation is to determine the facts of the accident and make recommendations," Latson said.

On the night in question, a storm front that brought an exceptional amount of rain to southeast Oklahoma on Friday was slowly moving into the area. However, an informal check of Oklahoma Mesonet weather observations performed by the News-Capital shows in the Eufaula area there was zero rain and maximum wind gusts readings of only 11 miles per hour around the time of the crash. The temperature was in the 50s.

"Our NTSB meteorology specialist is also doing a complete meteorology study of weather conditions as they existed before and during the time of the accident," Latson told the newspaper. "And we have an NTSB air traffic control specialist (to analyze) FAA air traffic control data and radar data."

A spokesman for EagleMed declined to comment on this story, citing the ongoing investigation.

Latson said Mathews did do a diligent review of weather conditions that evening.

“There is evidence that the pilot did a thorough weather check before departure from McAlester and before departure from St. Francis,” Latson said. “They also have on board...access to graphical radar such as graphical radar reports. They don't have access to radar but they do have through an onboard computer the ability to look at it.”

Latson said an inspection of the aircraft will include an examination of the aircraft’s engine along with a search for any equipment that would record flight data.

The crash is the fourth for EagleMed in Oklahoma in recent years and the second fatal flight of an EagleMed helicopter based out of McAlester. On June 11, 2013, an EagleMed chopper based at MRHC crashed shortly after takeoff from the Choctaw National Indian Health Care Center in Talihina. A patient picked up at the facility died in the crash.

“This is one of the moderately-large air ambulance companies,” Latson said. “The employees in the McAlester area are very proud of ...the job they do for the public. The coworkers of the people injured and killed are emotionally devastated, and the assistance and understanding of your readers is needed.”

Contact Glenn Puit by email at 



Horry County ambulance driver cited for accident on Hwy 905 - South Carolina

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – An Horry County Fire Rescue worker has been cited after an ambulance stationed in the Red Bluff community was involved in an accident on Highway 905 Sunday night while transporting a patient, according to an HCFR media alert.

HCFR crews responded to the accident at about 10:45 p.m. Sunday on Highway 905 at Freemont Road and found the medic unit on its side and a second vehicle in a ditch, the alert states. Crews quickly accessed both vehicles and extricated all patients from both vehicles. Three patients from the ambulance and two from the other vehicle were transported to a nearby hospital, and are currently in stable condition.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this accident and we hope that they all recover quickly from any injuries sustained,” the alert states.

Sheri DeBari, 43, was ticketed by the South Carolina Highway Patrol for disregarding a stop sign, according to Corporal Sonny Collins. The ambulance disregarded the stop sign on Freemont Road and hit the vehicle traveling down Highway 905, Collins said.

Cpl. Collins added that it is not common to have accidents involving emergency personnel. He added that SCHP prefers that the public pulls as far to the right as possible when emergency personnel come up behind them in traffic. If they are stopped in traffic and unable to move, he recommends they hold position, and the emergency personnel will work around them.

When an emergency vehicle comes to a traffic light or stop sign, they have to be able to slow down, so they can stop if traffic is coming, Collins said. They are only able to disregard a red light or stop down if it's safe to do so.

Battalion Chief Brian VanAernem with HCFR said that a safety panel is reviewing the incident and will make recommendations to the individual and/or department. He said the committee is usually harsh in its recommendations because safety is the top priority.

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is holding written and practical driver testing this week for its recruits, who go through 40 hours of basic driver training. Emergency drivers still need to complete more rigorous, specified training before getting behind the wheel during an emergency.

"Knowing how to operate the vehicle under extreme circumstances, weather-related emergencies, traffic," said Bruce Arnel, battalion chief for MBFD.

Chief Arnel said safety is always the department's top priority.

"It's called driving with due regard," he said. "Just because you have lights and sirens doesn't give you the license to drive at reckless speeds or to ignore traffic signals and traffic lights." 



7 injured in 3-vehicle crash on Dumont-Cresskill border - New Jersey

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  BY TARIQ ZEHAWI

According to Cresskill Fire Chief Christopher Ulsheofer, seven people were injured in a three-vehicle accident.

An ambulance overturned on Knickerbocker Road at Grant Avenue Monday around noon.

There was a patient in the back of the Guardian ambulance at the time of the accident.




Ambulance struck while at crash scene - Florida

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  Deborah Buckhalter / Jackson County Floridan

With a patient from a traffic crash and a paramedic inside awaiting transport to the hospital, a Jackson County ambulance was struck by an oncoming vehicle shortly before dark Sunday.

It happened on Interstate 10 in the eastbound stretch of roadway that lies between a weigh station and the Sneads exit.

Jackson County Fire Rescue Chief Scott Birge said the paramedic was thrown around inside the ambulance but suffered no broken bones or other serious injuries as a result of the impact. The patient, he said, had suffered neck and back pain from the crash that brought the ambulance to the scene. She reported no additional types of pain after the ambulance was struck with her inside it, he said. She was already strapped to a spinal immobilization device, Birge noted. The tending paramedic and the patient were transported on to the hospital by another ambulance and crew.

The driver of the ambulance had been walking from the back of the emergency vehicle and preparing to get inside to take the woman to the hospital when the ambulance was struck. He was not injured, Birge reported.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the ambulance was believed to have suffered some neck and back pain associated with airbag deployment.

Official accident reports from the Florida Highway Patrol were not immediately available.

The crash occurred in the median that lies between the eastbound and westbound traffic lanes, where the ambulance was parked with the passenger-side tires of the ambulance touching pavement but not in the travel lanes, Birge said, adding that JCFR considers itself and the patient “very fortunate” in that no serious injuries apparently resulted from the second crash.

Significant damage to the ambulance resulted, however, and it must be taken out of service or repaired. The ambulance was actually on schedule to be rotated out in the coming months but it did have a new engine installed a few months ago, Birge said. If it the ambulance as a whole can’t be fixed and is not removed from inventory in a surplus disposal, all its working parts will likely be salvaged for use, he said.

Birge also said the incident should serve as a case in point for the cause of obeying Florida’s “move over” law. He did not speculate on whether the driver had the opportunity to move into the other lane, away from the ambulance, and/or slow down as the law requires when it is safely possible to do so. But perhaps if the motorist had moved over, the accident might not have occurred, he acknowledged. 



Traffic backup after ambulance, car collide on I-5 near Lacey - Washington

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  LACEY, Wash. - An ambulance rushing a patient to the hospital collided with a car Wednesday on Interstate 5 near Lacey, but no one was seriously hurt in the accident, the Washington State Patrol reported.

State troopers responded to the scene, on northbound I-5 near Marvin Road, at about 1:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a crash involving an ambulance, said Guy Gill of the State Patrol.

Arriving at the scene, troopers found the ambulance on one side of the freeway. The car had rolled over onto the other side of the freeway.

A preliminary investigation found that the ambulance was heading north with its lights and sirens on when the car ahead of it changed lanes and clipped the ambulance.

The ambulance went off the road to the left. The car flipped over and wound up on the right side of the freeway after its driver over-corrected.

Three people in the car sustained very minor injuries. The ambulance crew was unhurt. Their patient was transferred to another ambulance and taken to the hospital.

The investigation and cleanup caused a traffic backup that has now cleared.




Ambulance driver cited in crash that injured 5 - South Carolina

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  An Horry County Fire Rescue medic unit was involved in an accident while transporting a patient Sunday night and the driver of that unit has been cited in connection with the crash.

The accident happened on Freemont Road and 905 in Longs around 10:45 p.m., according to Brian VanAernem with Horry County Fire Rescue.

Ambulance driver Sheri DeBari, 43, has been cited with disregarding a stop sign in connection with the crash, according to Cpl. Sonny Collins, with SCHP.

Medic 34, stationed in the Red Bluff Community, was transporting a patient when it was involved in the accident, VanAernem said.

He said crews arrived to find the unit on its side with another vehicle in a ditch.

Five patients were transported to Grand Strand Medical Center and were all in stable condition as of around 5 a.m. Monday. 



National Guardsman killed in collision with ambulance - New York

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  YORKSHIRE, N.Y. — An Army National Guardsman was killed in a head-on collision with a Trans Am Ambulance Services ambulance Saturday morning.

State Police said Brenden A. DeCarlo, 21, was driving north on Route 16 when he crossed into the southbound lane at a slight curve in the roadway, and hit an oncoming ambulance, The Buffalo News reports. The crash occurred at 6:10 a.m.

He suffered “traumatic blunt-force injury” and was taken to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital where he was pronounced dead. DeCarlo was a member of the Army National Guard based in Buffalo.

Trans Am employee Everett E. Retzel also suffered a minor wrist injury. He was treated at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and released. 



2 injured when van, ambulance collide in downtown Louisville - Kentucky

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  By Tim Elliott

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Two people suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning when a van and an ambulance collided in downtown Louisville.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at South First Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

Police are still investigating, but it appears one of the vehicles may have run a red light.

MetroSafe said the driver and a passenger were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The patient in the back of the ambulance was put onto another ambulance.

The EMS workers were not injured.

It's not clear if the ambulance sirens were on at the time of the crash.




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