Rescue vehicle involved in crash

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

ELIZABETH CITY – Five people – including two individuals employed with Hertford County Emergency Services who were transporting a patient – were injured during a two-vehicle crash near here Monday morning.

The names of those injured were not released, but the R-C News-Herald did learn early Monday afternoon that the driver of the county-owned vehicle and a nurse employed by Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, who was accompanying the patient, were treated and released from Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City.

The patient, being transported from R-CH to Albemarle, escaped serious injury. However, one Hertford County EMS employee was seriously injured. That person was taken to Albemarle Hospital before being transported to Norfolk (Va.) Sentura Hospital.

The accident occurred at approximately 7:30 a.m. on US 17 Bypass at its intersection with Main Street Extended. According to a preliminary accident report filed by Trooper Gary Smith with the Elizabeth City office of the NC Highway Patrol, the ambulance, traveling south on the bypass, had its red warning lights and siren activated as it approached the intersection. Witnesses informed Smith that the ambulance had the right-of-way at the traffic signal, which green for traffic on the bypass.

Allegedly, a white Ford Mustang, traveling on Main St. Extended, entered the intersection and struck the ambulance in the passenger’s side door. The ambulance flipped at least once and reportedly caught fire.

&uot;From what I was told, a passer-by stopped and was able to extinguish the fire,&uot; said Charles Jones, Hertford County’s Emergency Management Director, who went immediately to Elizabeth City after learning of the accident. &uot;That person also kicked in the windshield and was able to pull the ambulance driver to safety.&uot;