Sunday, July 22, 2007


The driver of the Ambulance caused the crash that took five lives, including three EMS personnel, after “failing to cautiously enter a rural intersection”.

Witnesses who were at the intersection, including an off duty Police Officer and his wife, say the Ambulance did slow down to about 40mph but did not show due regard for the safety of others. State Patrol Sgt. Ray Haas said The Ambulance approached a stop sign with their lights and siren going slowing down to about 40mph but continued through the intersection crashing into the semi trailer. Although the crash is still under investigation by the State Patrol, Sgt. Haas said it appears that the driver of the semi did nothing wrong. No stop signs were posted for the semi, which was traveling east. The driver of the semi told Officials that he did not hear the siren and only saw the lights only seconds before the crash.

The Ambulance crew was transporting an elderly couple from the scene of a crash where a drunk driver struck their vehicle. The couple had received minor injuries from that crash.

The crash occurred at 6:59p.p. on Friday in Crane Township at the intersection of County Road 176 and County Road 87 in Paulding County, about 65 miles southwest of Toledo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The elderly couple being transported had only recieved minor injuries from the initial MVA, yet the ambulance crew needlessly transfers them to the hospital running lights and sirens. Driving code 3 while transporting non-acute patients is something that is done far to often, even right here in Lorain County. Perhaps those five people would still be alive had the ambulance crew used better judgement.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, What were the injuries they were being transported from? Does your background contain EMS experience? How do you know that local squads tranports code 3 for minor injuries? Perhaps posting your name would have answered some of these questions.

Pete, Avon

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All drivers need to stay aware while driving. Especially when driving through rural intersections. Too many times, people run stop signs altogether, not just emergency vehicles that can legally do so. I don't know why the semi driver "couldn't hear" the sirens, but perhaps had he kept more alert, and both vehicles had exercised more caution, they would have seen each other. Semi's cannot stop on a dime, even if he had heard the siren. The EMS driver should have been aware of that as well. Better safe than sorry is not just a cliche saying, sometimes it's the difference between life and death.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolling through the intersection saves, maybe 15 seconds on the trip to the ER. Certainly not enough to justify the ends. All emergency apparatus drivers SHOULD be aware of this and should NEVER proceed through any intersection without assuring total safety. Additionally, we should mourn those who were serving their community, even though they made a huge mistake.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend is an EMT, and I absolutely hate to hear this story. I trust his judgment with driving the ambulance, but when his partner is driving half of the time - that's what is scary. I hear stories from him all of time about driving the ambulance to MVA's and such, and the disregard that other drivers have on the road for the lights and sirens. Everyone needs to pay more attention.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

This is such a tragedy. Five lives lost. Five families in mourning. A community full of loss and sorrow. This story, nor the event itself, need bring out our judgement on others. If anything, this is a learning experience for everyone involved. Fire, EMS, Police, and the everyday driver. Do not place blame, or try and judge these people. None of us were there. None of us were driving that squad. To pass judgement and question driving code 3, or why the driver didn't come to a complete stop are not questions we need to ask. Just the knowledge that this type of crash can occur should make everyone a more attentive driver. That's what we all need to focus on.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find it unique when these type of situations occur that when anyone questions what happens, there are quick responses that "don't second guess", "you weren't there", etc. That is one of the primary problems that exists in these situations. An accident like this is a tragedy, but don't let our "hero" complex ruin the ability to learn from the incident. Research shows regardless of nature of injury, that in rural areas going lights and sirens only "saves" 30-45 seconds on average for a call. Semi's don't stop on a dime! Learn from the situation and we should all reinforce this with everyone we work with. I am an EMS provider and will gladly continue to "monday morning quarterback" situations to help me and my colleagues learn and ensure are safety!!!!

8:02 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Anonymous said...
I always find it unique when these type of situations occur that when anyone questions what happens, there are quick responses that "don't second guess", "you weren't there", etc.

First of all, it's nice to meet you Mr. Anonymous Monday morning quarterback.
You can think about what happend all you'd like. That's good for you. I said that in my post. I'm thinking about it too. As EMS providers, we make split second decisions everyday. It just works out that 99% of those decisions don't land us in the hospital or jail. Think back to how many times you've screwed up REAL bad, but pretty much got away with it. Now imagine that you didn't get away with it and everyone is judging your actions. Not so nice is it? What's your defense? "I made a decision, and you weren't there, so you don't know." That's right. I wasn't there. I didn't have to make the decision with the situation and circumstances that you did.

Looking at something like this from the outside should raise awareness about safer driving practices. It doesn't need to turn into a critique or flame fest for those who were involved and lost their lives. Part of being in Fire/EMS is to be compassionate. Who better to show compassion then to our brothers and sisters.

Even the Bible tells us not to judge. It's not right, and it disrespects those who paid the ultimate price.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous DD said...

As a paramedic (or ambulance driver as we are so often referred to) I can say I took every precaution I could. Even IF I had the green light, I did NOT blow thru it, but stopped, made eye contact with the other cars and proceeded thru. You would be suprised how many people do not see the HUGE ambulance coming their way, OR hear it. Furthermore, someone could be making a right turn on red, and I could have hit them on my way thru as well, which is why I stopped and LOOKED. Lights and Sirens are not anything other than ASKING for permission to do things a normal car cannot to, to expedite transfer or response to the hospital. Period. It isn't a green card to drive recklessly. I have had partners that gave ME white knuckles when they drove. I do not know the situation on this call and it is very hard to armchair quarterback anyone elses call. Rural areas sometimes are worse to drive than urban. I do agree though, with poster number #1 and that is if they are non acute patients (as most are in my experience) there is no reason to turn the lights on and go code 3 to the hospital.

To pass judgement and question driving code 3, or why the driver didn't come to a complete stop are not questions we need to ask.

I think they DO need to ask. And perhaps stopping WOULD have made a difference, although no one will ever know.

Prayers out to all the families involved.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great point dd!!

Dave- If you are making split second decisions without thinking about the consequences and accountability of your decision then in the end, you are doing more harm than good. Compassion and the Bible have nothing to do with evaluating and learning from situations. As I said in my previous post, if we don't ask the questions why, what could have been done differently in the situation, etc, we are negligent to ourselves, our fellow workers, and ultimately the folks we have sworn that we will protect. I can't think of anytimes "I screwed up real bad and got away with it". I can think of times things didn't go well, and I Monday morning quarterbacked myself and my partner and we held each other accountable that it would not happen again.

12:46 PM  

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