Tenn. FF's Seizures May Have Caused Crash



New information released on Monday suggests that a Rural Metro Ambulance driver's medical history may have been a factor that resulted in a fatal interstate crash in October.

David Cline was killed when the ambulance he was driving rear ended a Tennessee Department of Transportation truck.

The patient he was transporting, Sue Bly, also died in the crash.

A report released late Monday afternoon shows Cline had a history of seizures.

After speaking to Cline's widow, crash investigators learned that Cline had been diagnosed with narcolepsy and epilepsy and was prescribed medications for both.

Cline had just finished a 24-hour shift at the Franklin Fire Department on Oct. 22 when he began a shift with the privately run Rural Metro Ambulance Service.

He was transporting Bly, who had just received dialysis treatment, back to her home when he rear ended the TDOT truck, which was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 65 near the Wedgewood Avenue exit.

According to toxicology reports, Cline had a high level of amphetamines in his system, likely caused by the Adderall he took for narcolepsy. But the toxicology report didn't show any traces of the drug he took for epilepsy in Cline's system.

The report also shows that Cline had a similar crash in 1999, where he swerved off the road after having a seizure. His license was suspended after that crash and reinstated in 2000.

A co-worker at the Franklin Fire Department also told investigators that Cline had a seizure three or four years ago.

A check of phone records also revealed Cline was sending or receiving text messages at the time of the crash.

However, investigators believe given Cline's medical history that some type of medical condition is to blame for the wreck.

According to the Department of Safety's Web site, a person has to be seizure free for a full year to get a license and also must get a doctor's permission if you are on controlled medications.

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