Archive | September, 2009

One Dead in Ambulance Accident

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

LAS VEGAS, NV РThe Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a fatal accident involving a ambulance which occurred Sunday evening at the intersection on Las Vegas Boulevard and Bridger Avenue.

According to Metro, the ambulance was traveling northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard in far left travel lane and the driver of the Pontiac Vibe was traveling eastbound in the left travel lane when both entered the intersection at the same time.

The front of the ambulance struck the side of the Pontiac driving both vehicles into the northeast corner of the intersection. The driver and passenger of the ambulance were treated on scene with minor injuries. The 52-year-old male driver of the Pontiac was transported to UMC Hospital with minor injuries. The passenger was transported to UMC and was listed in critical condition. The rear passenger of the Pontiac, a 66-year-old female  was pronounced dead at the UMC.

According to a Metro Watch Commander on scene, it is believed the ambulance had both lights and sirens on when traveling through the intersection.

As of Sunday evening, no charges¬†had been filed pending the outcome of the investigation by¬†Metro’s¬†Accident Investigation unit.


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Motorcyclist killed in collision with ambulance

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

SAN ANTONIO, TX – A 46-year-old motorcyclist was killed Sunday afternoon when he failed to yield to an ambulance en route to a call and collided with it at a North Side intersection, authorities said.

The name of the man was not released because his family had not been notified, according to authorities.

Melissa Sparks, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Fire Department, said the crash occurred around 4 p.m. at U.S. 281 and Evans Road.

Sparks said she did not know where the ambulance was going when the crash occurred.

Officials with the San Antonio Police Department said other traffic did yield to the ambulance.


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Collier EMS vehicle involved in rollover accident

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

NAPLES, FL — A three-vehicle rollover accident involving a Collier County Emergency Medical Services SUV sent a 2-year-old to the hospital and temporarily blocked traffic near the intersection of Vanderbilt Beach and Livingston roads.

According to Florida Highway Patrol troopers on the scene Sunday afternoon, who were investigating the accident and interviewing witnesses, the EMS vehicle was responding to a call with its lights and sirens activated. The SUV was traveling eastbound on Vanderbilt Beach Road, and came to a stop at the intersection with Livingston Road, troopers said. They said the SUV then continued east through the intersection and was side-swiped by a Honda CR-V, which overturned onto its roof.

Troopers said there were three people in the Honda, one of which was a 2-year-old. The extent of the child’s injuries were not immediately known. It also was not clear whether others involved in the accident were injured. The identities of those involved have not been released yet.

A third vehicle sustained minor damage in the crash.


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killed in medical helicopter crash in SC

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Authorities say a medical transport helicopter has crashed in coastal South Carolina, killing three people.

Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson told several media outlets that a pilot, nurse and paramedic were killed in the Friday night crash.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson says no patients were on board.

Knudson says the helicopter had dropped off a patient at about 9:35 p.m. Friday in Charleston, about 60 miles southwest of Georgetown County. He says the helicopter went down about 11:30 p.m.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the pilot last radioed air traffic control at 11:05 p.m.

An NTSB investigator was on his way to the scene Saturday.


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Man hit by ambulance

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

GREENVILLE, SC – A man crossing Mills Avenue Friday night was struck and critically injured by an ambulance on its way to Greenville Memorial Hospital, police said.

The identity of the man was not released.

Sgt. Jason Rampey, a spokesman for the Greenville Police Department, said

the man was taken by another ambulance to Greenville Memorial with unknown injuries.

The accident occurred about 9 p.m., he said.

An investigation by the department’s accident reconstruction team will take several days, Rampey said. “They will get skid marks and get statements from people,” he said.

Rampey didn’t know who owned the ambulance.

A spokesman for Greenville Emergency Medical Services, which handles much of the ambulance work in the county, was not available for comment late Friday.

A spokesman for EMS said he wasn’t authorized to release any information.


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DUI Charges Will Not Be Filed Against Eagles Mere Ambulance Driver

Posted on 28 September 2009 by wyoskibum

Pennsylvania – DUI charges will not be filed against an Eagles Mere man who had been driving an ambulance that crashed while transporting a patient to a hospital on Sept. 13 in Shrewsbury Township, Sullivan County, state police said on Thursday. The state police at Laporte had issued a press release on the day after the crash which stated that the driver — 67-year-old John Huhn — had been arrested “on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol” at the time of the crash.

However, the state police said they had been waiting for the results of a blood test before deciding whether to file DUI charges against Huhn. The test, which was performed after the crash, measured the amount of alcohol in Huhn’s blood.

State police received the results of the test earlier this week, which showed that the amount of alcohol in Huhn’s blood at the time of the crash “was below the legal limit,” said state Trooper Donald Cole.

DUI charges will therefore not be filed against Huhn, Cole said.

“There will just be some summary offenses” filed against Huhn for traffic violations, “probably careless driving” as well as failure to stay in the right lane, Cole said.

At the time of the crash, the ambulance, which is owned by the Eagles Mere Ambulance Association, was transporting 45-year-old Kathleen Smith of Eagles Mere from her home to Geisinger Medial Center in Danville. Smith was uninjured in the crash, but two emergency medical technicians from Eagles Mere — Richard Schaefer, 70, and Lee Hays, 79, — suffered minor injuries.

Cole declined to reveal the amount of alcohol that was in Huhn’s blood, other than to say it was “below the legal limit.” The legal limit for adult drivers is .08 percent. Nor would Cole say whether any alcohol at all was found in Huhn’s blood.

The state police had said in their press release that Huhn “had been drinking alcohol” prior to the crash, which occurred at 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.

But Schaefer, who is the captain of the Eagles Mere Ambulance Association, said that while Huhn had consumed alcohol on the day of the crash during the afternoon, the amount he consumed was “not much.”

The amount that Huhn consumed was so small and the consumption occurred so many hours before the crash that it would not have affected his driving, Schaefer said.

Huhn “was not in any way under the influence of alcohol,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer also said it was incorrect for the state police to say that Huhn had been “arrested.”

“He was not restrained” by the police, Schaefer said.

In fact, the only reason that Huhn had a blood test done was because the ambulance association asked that it be done, Schaefer said.

It is an unwritten policy for drivers of the ambulance association and the Eagles Mere Volunteer Fire Company to undergo a test for the presence of alcohol if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident, Schaefer said.

The policy exists because the fire company, which owns the ambulance association, wants to make sure that the driver cannot be accused of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, Schaefer said.

The tests are also important so that an insurance company cannot claim that the driver was intoxicated and refuse to make a payout, he said.

After members of the ambulance association made it known at the accident scene that they wanted Huhn to be tested, the investigating state trooper offered to give Huhn a ride to the Laporte Medical Center in Laporte to undergo the test, since he was driving back to the state barracks in Laporte anyway, Schaefer said.

Schaefer also said on Friday that the Eagles Mere Volunteer Fire Company and the ambulance association will not be taking any disciplinary action against Huhn.

“Alcohol was not an issue” in the accident, Schaefer said.

As is the standard procedure at the fire company and ambulance association, Huhn’s driving privileges as an ambulance driver had been suspended while the association waited for the results of the blood test, Schaefer said.

Schaefer said Friday that Huhn’s driving privileges will now be restored. Schaefer said he needs to meet with Brian Smith, chief of the fire company, in order to take official action to restore Schaefer’s driving privileges.

Schaefer and Smith also said that the state police have refused to reveal the results of the blood test to the ambulance association, other than to say that the amount of alcohol in Huhn’s blood was below the legal limit.

The accident occurred as Huhn was driving a 2000 Ford 550 ambulance south on state Route 3007 in Shrewsbury Township at 9:30 p.m. Sunday when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the roadway, according to the state police at Laporte.

The ambulance traveled off the western side of the roadway and into a ditch, state police said.

The ambulance sustained minor damage in the crash, state police said.

Following the crash, Kathleen Smith was transported by Muncy Valley Emergency Medical Services to Geisinger Medical Center, Brian Smith said.

Schaefer and Hays were transported by Laporte Emergency Medical Services to Muncy Valley Hospital for treatment of their injuries, Brian Smith said.

The state police said Friday that they had no comment at this time regarding the Ambulance Association’s allegations.


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St. Petersburg officials try to figure out how fire vehicle ran over victim

Posted on 26 September 2009 by wyoskibum

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Authorities are still piecing together how a 10-ton St. Petersburg Fire Rescue vehicle ran over the person it was supposed to help Thursday.

But if there’s a consensus emerging about the accident that critically injured Ten Allen Lenox, it may be this:

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

“There’s just so many variables that were involved that any other combination would not have resulted in what occurred,” said James Wimberly Jr., the assistant fire chief.

The 41-year-old homeless man was too close to the garage door of Rescue 5 for the firefighters inside to see him as they drove forward, police said.

Police and fire department investigations into the accident are still ongoing. But authorities on Friday started to fill in some blanks:

What did the callers to 911 report?

Two people said they saw Lenox in distress before the accident. The callers spoke to Pinellas County 911 dispatchers first, then St. Petersburg police dispatchers. But only the police recordings were made public Friday.

The first caller, an unidentified woman, said a man bleeding from the head was stumbling badly along Dr. Martin Luther King St. S near the fire department. Soon a second caller, an unidentified man, said he saw a bleeding man lying down at the fire department.

“There’s a guy there laying in front of the fire department driveway bay door,” he said.

What location were firefighters sent to?

Pinellas County emergency medical services director Dick Williams said the second caller told 911 that Lenox was at 400 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S (the caller doesn’t mention an address on the recording).

That’s the address for St. Petersburg Fire Rescue headquarters. But here’s where the confusion may have started: There’s more than one fire department building there. Stations 1 and 5 are also part of the complex, but have a different address: 455 Eighth St. S. And the Station 5 garage faces a different street, Fourth Avenue S.

What did the firefighters know?

Emergency medical technician Jason Springer was the driver of Rescue 5. Paramedic David Bucholz was the passenger. Dispatch told them there was a man down, gave them the address and a radio channel.

But Wimberly said the paramedics couldn’t have just walked to fire headquarters. They needed their truck and the medical equipment inside.

Paramedics have responded the same way to past medical emergencies at fire headquarters, he said.

Did the firefighters know the man was reported lying on a fire department driveway?

Wimberly said they’re still trying to determine that. Usually 911 dispatchers relay those details to a vehicle’s laptop, he said, which firefighters read during the drive.

“They probably never even saw those notes,” Wimberly said. “Because as soon as they opened the bay doors, pulled out and felt the bump, they realized they have a patient to deal with right there.”

But Wimberly said it might not have mattered anyway. Even if they had known the man was lying on a fire department driveway, the paramedics would have still thought it was at 400 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St.

What factor did alcohol play?

According to official and eyewitness accounts, Lenox appeared to be extremely intoxicated. “I thought he was so drunk,” the first caller told the police dispatcher. “‚Ķ I’m just afraid someone might hit him because I almost did.”

Wimberly said police told the fire officials that Lenox had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.46 — nearly six times the 0.08 level at which a driver is considered legally impaired.

How else could the accident have been avoided?

Maybe if Lenox had collapsed anywhere else but where he was found. The fire department complex has nine garage bays facing two different streets.

Somehow, Lenox ended up lying right in front of the garage of the only vehicle sent out to help him.


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EMS Hits Pedestrian While Transporting Patient

Posted on 26 September 2009 by wyoskibum

GREENVILLE, SC – A Greenville EMS unit on the way to a local hospital hit a pedestrian 8:30 Friday evening.

The accident happened near the intersection of Edgewood and Mills Avenue, just inside the city limits of Greenville.

The victim was rushed to Greenville Memorial in critical condition.

None of the people in the EMS were injured, and the patient being transported was sent on to the hospital in another ambulance.

The accident is under investigation.


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Off-duty paramedic helps save child pulled from Ingleside-area lake

Posted on 26 September 2009 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – An off-duty paramedic helped to save a toddler who fell into a lake in unincorporated Ingleside late Friday morning, authorities said.

Fox Lake Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Van Hoorelbeke said authorities were summoned at 11:20 a.m. to a house in the 26000 block of Longwood Drive. Longwood Drive stretches along Duck Lake, east of where Route 59 splits from Route 12 in northern Lake County.

Van Hoorelbeke said the 31/2-year-old boy was found in the water by his mother, who reported he was not breathing when she called for emergency help.

Fox Lake Fire Lt. Curt Martin was driving on Longwood toward his home, and raced to assist when he heard the dispatch for the accident, Van Hoorelbeke said. Martin began cardiopulmonary resuscitation before paramedics arrived.

Van Hoorelbeke said the toddler’s heart rate and breathing improved as paramedics worked on him on the way to Centegra Hospital-McHenry. The boy was airlifted to another hospital after he was stabilized in Centegra’s emergency room.

Lake County Undersheriff Chuck Fagan said the boy and his 1-year-old sister were playing near a backyard deck extended from the family’s home when their mother went inside for about two minutes to assemble lunch. After that brief time, he said, the woman returned outside to hear the girl crying and find her son in the water about 50 yards from the deck.

Van Hoorelbeke said the CPR performed on the child by Martin “played a critical part” in his survival.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran praised the rescue effort.

“God bless the Fox Lake Fire (Department),” Curran said. “I’m sure the mother was very grateful as well.”


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Paramedic accused of stealing Lortab from blind person

Posted on 26 September 2009 by wyoskibum

MINDEN, LA – A DeSoto Parish man who works as an area paramedic stole prescription drugs from a blind Sibley resident he treated, Webster sheriff’s authorities said today in a news release.

The arrest of Scott A. Hall, 44, happened while narcotics investigators were following up on a tip. Hall, who lives on Forest Lane in Mansfield, was booked into Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center for possession of a Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substance with intent to distribute, felony theft and prohibited acts on all scheduled. His bond is set at $22,500.

Hall admitted to stealing a large supply of Lortab and distributing a portion of them in DeSoto Parish, according to a news release.

“We found the drugs in his car during our search,” said Lt. Det. Shawn Baker of the Webster sheriff’s narcotics division. “During an interview he made an admission to the theft and told us where he had taken some of the drugs in Webster and DeSoto parishes.”

The DeSoto sheriff’s office was contacted for help. Through the cooperative effort, detectives hope to locate and retrieve all of the distributed pills linked to the case. The investigation into Hall’s actions is ongoing and may lead to more charges.


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Paramedic charged with stealing from elderly patient enters court program

Posted on 23 September 2009 by wyoskibum

STAMFORD, CT — An Ansonia man charged with stealing a $7,000 wristwatch from an elderly patient while working as a paramedic entered into a court diversionary program Monday in state Superior Court.

John Conte, 49, of 3 Finnucan Drive, appeared before Judge Richard Comerford where his application for the accelerated rehabilitation program was granted, officials said.

Conte, who was a paramedic for a private company, was charged with second-degree larceny in connection with the June 16, 2008, incident in which he allegedly stole an elderly patient’s watch during an ambulance ride between two medical facilities within Greenwich, according to the police report.

Police said that Conte pawned the watch in West Haven following the incident.

His case had been in court 12 times since the 2008 arrest before coming to a resolution Monday. Conte’s lawyer had submitted a request to enter the accelerated rehabilitation program Friday but Comerford said he wanted to review the facts first.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Applegate, who is prosecuting the case, objecting to Conte being granted the program.

The accelerated program means that Conte’s case will be put on hold for two years. If he does not run into any legal problems during this time, the charge will be erased from his record. Comerford also stipulated that Conte must donate $1,500 to a senior citizen related charity.


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Four injured in ambulance crash

Posted on 22 September 2009 by wyoskibum

BUFFALO, NY – Four emergency medical workers were injured Monday night when their ambulance collided with a tractor-trailer on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, Erie County sheriff’s officials reported.

All four workers were taken to Lake Shore Community Hospital with injuries described by authorities as non-life-threatening.

The accident occurred a few minutes before 9 p.m., when the Farnham ambulance was southbound on Route 438 with its emergency lights activated. As the ambulance driver attempted to make a U-turn at Versailles Plank Road, the vehicle made contact with the tractor-trailer, which also was southbound, according to police reports.

The four Farnham EMS workers were identified as George Cordia, 62; Scott Cordia, 30; James Militello, 67; and Eric Russell, 23.


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Paramedic allegedly shoots two, administers first aid

Posted on 22 September 2009 by wyoskibum

Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams

Abington, Mass. – It is not a story one hears every day: a Boston paramedic who allegedly admitted shooting his former work partner’s two brothers, then started to administer first aid on them.

“Came outside, there were three men wrestling on the street. Two men were shot, one was shot in the leg, the other guy was shot in the chest. The third guy wrestling around was obviously the shooter. They were wrestling the gun away from him,” said eyewitness Joe LaPointe who lives on Bates Street in Abington.

That’s how it ended.

It began Saturday night when this man, 41-year-old Boston EMS paramedic Rhys Williams went to a party in Abington after a benefit at the Norwood Elks Lodge in honor of his former work partner, Mark Brinkman, who died in May following a brief illness.

Now Williams faces two counts of assault with intent to murder Brinkman’s two brothers.

“Mr. Williams immediately stated to the officer, I shot them. They gave me no choice, I shot them both. At this time, he was escorted from the scene and secured. He further stated to the sergeant on scene, I shot them, I had no choice, they made me do it,” said Plymouth County prosecutor Matthew Green.

According to Plymouth County prosecutors, after a night of drinking, there was an argument between Rhys Williams and brothers Paul and John Brinkman in this North Avenue home early Sunday morning.

The brothers asked him to leave and he did, but when he later

returned about 7:30 am Sunday, another altercation started around the corner on Bates Street.

“The defendant stated that John Brinkman threatened his life and was attempting to pull him out of the motor vehicle. He stated that it was at that time that he shot John Brinkman in the leg. After shooting John Brinkman in the leg, the defendant stated that Paul Brinkman came towards him at which point in time he shot Paul Brinkman in the chest,” Green said.

Prosecutors say witnesses did not hear the Brinkmans threaten Williams.

Joe LaPointe was asleep in his home across the street and heard the two shots fired, then saw what he describes as something bizarre.

“After the gun was out of the picture, he actually went to the back of his car and pulled out an emergency bag and started doing first aid to his friends. It was bizarre, in the least it was a bizarre situation,” LaPointe said.

Rhys Williams, who winced and sobbed through much of his arraignment in Brockton District Court is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing Thursday.

There’s still a lot to be sorted out with this case.

Rhys Williams clearly had a relationship with the Brinkmans, he even gave Paul Brinkman a ride to Abington after the benefit.

Paul Brinkman remains in a Boston Hospital.

John Brinkman was treated at South Shore Hospital and released.

Boston EMS said that Williams was on medical leave since July – and has now been placed on administrative leave.


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Paramedics injured when Edgecombe ambulance flips

Posted on 22 September 2009 by wyoskibum

Macclesfield, N.C. — Two Edgecombe County emergency medical workers were injured early Monday when their ambulance overturned near Macclesfield, authorities said.

The EMTs, whose names haven’t been released, were treated at Heritage Hospital and released, said Chief Karen Johnson of the Edgecombe County Rescue Squad.

The incident occurred on Stallings Road about two miles from U.S. Highway 258 at about 2 a.m., Johnson said.

The state Highway Patrol determined speed was the cause of the wreck, noting the ambulance was headed to a high-priority call and rounded a curve too quickly.


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