At 14:50 this afternoon I personally witnessed a frightening accident involving an ambulance running code transporting a patient with heart problems.
The ambulance belonging to the South Jefferson Ambulance Squad was responding to the local hospital about two blocks from my home. I heard the ambulance coming from a distance. As it got close to the intersection the traffic signal in the ambulance’s direction of travel turned “RED.” As the ambulance was approximately 100-150 ft from the intersection a car that had been stopped at the cross street chose to cross that street in front of the ambulance as it now had a green light.
A second car further back on the cross street saw that they had a green light continued to accelerate to get through the intersection not realizing an ambulance was speeding towards the intersection with lights and siren blaring. As that car with three teenagers arrived at the intersection they quickly learned the ambulance was there and not stopping. The ambulance driver had not even slowed after the first car had cross in front of them.
It is my belief that the car was moving at 15-20 mph, and the ambulance was at 35-40 mph. The ambulance failed to stop at the light and collided with the car. As the ambulance went careening down the street it sideswiped a mini-van stopped at the red light. In my opinion if the ambulance had not sideswiped the minivan it would have overturned.
The good Lord was obviously looking out for people today. The driver of the car went to the hospital with neck pain, the other two occupants of the vehicle were uninjured, all were belted in and airbags worked to perfection. The driver of the mini-van said he would likely need to change his underwear but was belted and unhurt. The patient in the ambulance was transferred in minutes to another ambulance for the two block trip to the hospital without injury. The attendant in the back had just sat down and buckled in and was therefore unhurt, but his words to me were that the driver had really “f**ked up” as he didn’t even slow down at the intersection.
The driver was taken by PD to the hospital to be checked out but had no apparent injuries as he was belted in. It one thing to read about these incident but to be within 20 feet of the incident when it goes down is radical!!!!
Story received via email