Photo credit: wnbc.com
Tragic young mom.
Photo credit: Heidi Behr
May 4, 2005 -- A paramedic and a volunteer were killed yesterday when their ambulance slammed into a tree yesterday on the way to a Long Island hospital. The volunteer, Heidi Behr, 23, of Riverhead was a hard-working single mother who leaves behind a severely disabled 14-month old son, her mother said.
The other victim, William Stone, 30, was a professional paramedic from Rocky Point. A relative said he was engaged to be married.
The Riverhead Town Volunteer Ambulance had picked up a heart patient from Jamesport and was traveling west on Route 25 toward Central Suffolk Hospital in Riverhead at around 1:30 p.m. when the driver attempted to pass a dump truck on the right near the intersection of Church Lane in Aquebogue.
The ambulance driver lost control, and his vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a large tree, which caved in the steel side.
Behr and Stone had been riding in the back of the ambulance
The ambulance driver, Eric Maas, 29, survived as did the patient, Joseph Wowack, 67, who was strapped to a gurney in the back.
Wowack was taken in stable condition to the emergency room at Central Suffolk Hospital in another ambulance,
Behr's tearful mother, June, said her daughter volunteered for the town's volunteer ambulance and worked 13-hour days three days a week at a private ambulance company. She hoped to one day become a trauma nurse.
"She died doing what she loved to do," the mother said. "She saved a man who was having a heart attack."
Behr's son, Jared, suffers from cerebral palsy, and the young mom pushed herself so she could pay his medical bills.
"She was working hard so her son could have a good life," her mother said.
Maas' mother, Barbara, said he was released from the hospital late last night.
"He's fine," she said.
Maas was shaken up by the death of his crewmates, who worked with him for six years, the mother said.
She said her son claimed the dump truck driver "cut him off."
Investigators questioned the dump-truck driver, but no charges were filed.
Wake/Funeral information for Heidi Behr, EMT, Riverhead VAC
Wake: F.J. Mclaughlin Funeral Home
336 Marcy Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901
Thursday, May 5, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2 p.m. 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
EMS Department Service Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Mass: Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m.
St. John's Catholic Church
Saint John's Place, Riverhead, NY 11901
Burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Cutchogue, NY
A memorial fund has been established for Behr's son. Checks can be sent to the Jared Behr Fund at North Fork Bank, 1080 Rt. 58 in Riverhead, New York 11901, attention to Patty.
Visitation and Funeral information for Paramedic William Stone
Visitation/EMS and Firematic Service: Bryant Funeral Home
411 Old Town Rd., Setauket
Friday, May 6, 7-10 p.m.
Prayer Service: Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the funeral home.
According to NY Newsday.com, Stone's family has requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to the William Anthony Stone Memorial Foundation, in care of the Central Islip-Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 4 Pineville Rd., Central Islip, NY 11722.