Ambulance Driver Cited in Deadly WI Crash

Oct. 29, 2021
The driver of a Riverside Fire District ambulance was cited for failing to obey a traffic signal in a crash that left a 72-year-old man dead.

A 72-year-old man being sent to a hospital in an ambulance died after his driver caused a crash, according to Wisconsin police.

The ambulance driver from the Riverside Fire District was operating the vehicle in emergency mode when transporting the patient to Aspirus Wausau Hospital on Wednesday, police said. But the driver is accused of running a red light and the emergency vehicle collided with another car.

The 72-year-old patient was pronounced dead at the scene, Wausau police said in a news release. An investigation will determine if he died because of the crash or as a result of the incident that required emergency transport, according to police.

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Other people traveling in the ambulance and passenger vehicle it collided with were also left with injuries, but none are life-threatening, police said.

The driver of the ambulance, whose name was not publicly disclosed, was cited “for failure to obey a red traffic signal,” according to police.

A picture posted by WAOW shows the ambulance on its side after the crash Wednesday.

Operators of emergency vehicles are allowed to proceed past a red light or stop sign in Wisconsin, but only after they slow down before the intersection ”as may be necessary for safe operation,” according to state law.

“Some think emergency vehicles have no limits on speed or going through red lights without caution, but that is not true,” Benjamin Bliven, chief of police in Wausau, told McClatchy News. “We have to operate our vehicles with due regard for the safety of others on the roadway. There are limits to our authority to disregard certain rules of the road.”

©2021 The Charlotte Observer. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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