MARION, NC – Two people were injured and no one faulted when an ambulance and car collided on a snow-covered highway Friday evening.
At 6 p.m., Aaron Lee Wheeler, 21, of Marion was driving the 2008 Ford ambulance south on U.S. 221 South near the entrance to Chapel Hill Church Loop with its emergency equipment activated.
Paramedics were responding to a wreck on Interstate 40, according to a press release by EMS Director William Kehler.
Brenda Stotts Camp, 50, of Old Toms Creek Road was driving a 1994 Subaru north on U.S. 221 South.
A report by Sgt. D.B. Brown of the N.C. Highway Patrol said the ambulance crossed the centerline to pass an unknown vehicle that was either stopped or moving very slowly. As the ambulance attempted to re-enter its lane of travel, the emergency vehicle and Subaru collided due to heavy snowfall, the report stated.
“There were no lines visible on the roadway and this investigator was unable to determine the exact point of impact due to conflicting statements from the drivers and any physical evidence being quickly covered by snow,” the sergeant said in the report.
Kehler released the following statement: “We are very thankful that no one sustained serious injuries in this accident. Our agency takes the safety of our patients, employees, and citizens very serious.”
Brown’s report stated that Camp was taken to The McDowell Hospital. Kehler’s press release said two people were transported to The McDowell Hospital with minor injuries, the second being Kevin R. Ledford, 26, of Conover, a clinical student who was riding in the ambulance..
Camp was the only occupant of her vehicle. In addition to Ledford and Wheeler, who is an EMT-intermediate and employed with McDowell EMS, William K. Bishop, an EMS paramedic, was also in the ambulance.
No charges were filed in the wreck that shut down the highway for approximately an hour.
Damage to the car was estimated at $1,500 and to the ambulance, owned by the county, $2,500.