5 Dead From Ambulance Mva In Ohio
I just got this from the Vienna website - haven't seen it anywhere else (so far)....
Fatal Ambulance Wreck Kills 5 in Ohio
Last Edited: Saturday, 21 Jul 2007, 8:50 PM EDT
Created: Saturday, 21 Jul 2007, 8:50 PM EDT
PAULDING, Ohio -- An ambulance driver slowed down but failed to cautiously enter a rural intersection where the emergency vehicle struck a semitrailer and caused a fiery crash that killed the driver and four others, authorities said Saturday.
The ambulance was headed to a hospital Friday night with two patients injured from an earlier car wreck when the vehicles collided on a county road about 65 miles southwest of Toledo.
The patients, along with ambulance driver Sammy Smith, 64, and two other emergency medical technicians from the village of Antwerp, were killed.
The ambulance had its emergency siren and lights turned on as it approached a stop sign, authorities said.
Witnesses told investigators that Smith slowed to about 40 mph but continued through the intersection, smashing into the semitrailer, said patrol Sgt. Ray Haas.
Ohio law allows emergency vehicles responding to calls to cautiously go past stop signs or traffic signals as long as the driver shows regard for the safety of others using the road, said patrol Sgt. Cynthia Drake.
The accident remains under investigation, but there's no indication that the driver of the semitrailer, Gerald Chapman Jr., 54, of Bryant, Ind., did anything wrong, Haas said. No stop signs were posted for the semitrailer, which was heading east.
Chapman, a part-time driver for Limestone Products Inc. in Portland, Ind., told investigators that he didn't hear the ambulance siren because his windows were up and saw the emergency lights only seconds before the collision, Haas said.
Chapman was treated at a hospital and released.
Crash witnesses included the owners of a nearby home, as well as an off-duty police officer and his wife, who were in another vehicle approaching the intersection, Haas said.
The two patients inside the ambulance were identified as Robert Wells, 64, and Armelda Wells, 60, a married couple from Hicksville.
About an hour earlier, the Wells had received minor injuries -- neck and back pain -- when their car was hit by a drunk driver, Haas said.
Heidi McDougall, 31, and Kelly Rager, 25, were the other Antwerp Emergency Medical Services workers killed.
McDougall's husband, Matt McDougall, 31, who also worked for Antwerp EMS, was injured in the crash. He was taken Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., authorities said. His condition was not available Saturday.
"This is all very tough to deal with," said Antwerp Village Council President Ronald Farnsworth. "We've got a lot of grieving to go through."
Copyright 2007 Associated Press.