CHARLES TOWN, WV – The driver of a Friendship Fire Co. ambulance and two volunteers inside were injured early Wednesday afternoon after their emergency vehicle was involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer.
The accident happened between noon and 12:15 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 340, Marlowe Road and Country Club Road in Jefferson County, after the ambulance crew was responding to an emergency call in Harpers Ferry.
“Three people were injured. One was flown from the scene to Winchester Medical Center, and two were transported by ground to Jefferson Memorial. One was career staff for the county and the other two were volunteers,” said Jason Gore, assistant fire chief with the Independent Fire Co.
The driver, who was the county employee, was the patient flown out via helicopter, and Gore said he was conscious and breathing at the time he was transported.
All the names and conditions of those injured were not available Wednesday afternoon, but the driver was later identified as David Swan, of the Ranson area. A family member confirmed late Wednesday night that Swan was home from the hospital. He had some broken ribs and other injuries, but he was doing OK.
Deputy J. Bradshaw of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the accident, Sheriff Robert “Bobby” Shirley said. A message left with Bradshaw at his office was not returned as of presstime.
Both lanes of U.S. 340 were shut down for more than an hour after the accident.
“It just was chaos there for awhile, but we got it worked out and we got traffic moving as quickly as we could. I don’t know the condition of the (driver),” Shirley said Wednesday evening. “I think he did a U-turn in front of the tractor-trailer is what I was told.”
Scott Biller, assistant chief of the Friendship Fire Co., said the department also is investigating the incident.
“We did have an ambulance involved an accident with an 18-wheeler on 340,” Biller said. “I’m in the midst of our investigation, trying to figure out exactly where we’re standing right now.”
Gore said the ambulance had been travelling toward Charles Town when it received another call for service in Harpers Ferry. The accident occurred as it was in the process of getting turned around to go back to Harpers Ferry, Gore said.