When an ambulance turns on the siren, they’re usually speeding off to the rescue of a person in need. When drivers fail to yield to their lights, however, it’s the paramedics who need rescue. This scenario played out in Lee County this week as a car accident involving an ambulance sent three people to the hospital.
The accident took place at an intersection in Estero, when an ambulance entered an intersection on its way to a nearby neighborhood. The ambulance had its lights and sirens on as it entered the intersection, but a truck driver apparently failed to notice them. He plowed into the side of an ambulance, knocking it onto its side.
All three people involved in the accident were sent to the hospital; there is no word on their condition. The driver of the truck has already been charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Police say that although the ambulance was incapacitated, no emergency calls went unanswered. Another ambulance was dispatched to replace the first one, though undoubtedly this change cost the paramedics valuable time.
Emergency medical personnel have a challenging and dangerous job, and when drivers fail to recognize their lights and sirens, they endanger not only themselves, the emergency medical personnel and other motorists, but also the injured people that the ambulance was responding to.
As a result of this man’s negligence, the other parties involved may be able to file civil claims against the truck driver to recover damages for medical bills, vehicle damage or lost wages. Ambulance services are a vital public resource, and it is important that our laws protect their ability to rescue the injured in a timely manner.
Source: WINK-TV “Three taken to hospital after truck crashes into ambulance,” Oct. 16, 2012