Fatal Ambulance Accident and the Seriousness of Drowsy Driving


July 03, 2017

Ambulances are emergency vehicles intended to save lives, taking ill or injured patients to hospitals for emergency medical attention.  However, ambulances have certainly been involved in accidents over the years, but most accidents do not involve a situation where the driver of an ambulance falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident that results in the death of the patient being transported to the hospital.  Tragically, such an incident recently took place in Rome, Georgia. 

Ambulances are emergency vehicles intended to save lives, taking ill or injured patients to hospitals for emergency medical attention.  However, ambulances have certainly been involved in accidents over the years, but most accidents do not involve a situation where the driver of an ambulance falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident that results in the death of the patient being transported to the hospital.  Tragically, such an incident recently took place in Rome, Georgia. 

As a 21-year-old EMT was driving a patient from Lafayette Nursing Home to Floyd Medical Center in Rome around 4:00 in the morning, she fell asleep at the wheel, resulting in a fatal accident, according to a local news report.  Once the ambulance left the roadway on Martha Berry Highway, it traveled more than 300 feet while flipping, struck two trees, traveled off an embankment, and landed on its side.  The pictures of the ambulance alone demonstrate just how powerful the impact of this accident was.  The catastrophic nature of this accident led to the unfortunate death of the 55-year-old patient being transported to Floyd Medical Center.

EMT Driver Turns Herself In and Faces Criminal Charges

The EMT driver who fell asleep at the wheel said that she was fatigued from being five months’ pregnant and not being able to have caffeine.  The driver stated that she had been working a long shift, and reports indicate that some shifts last as long as 24 hours.  At the time the accident occurred, the driver had reportedly been working for approximately 9 hours. 

After receiving medical treatment for her injuries, the driver turned herself into the police and will likely be facing the following two criminal charges: (1) failure to maintain lane; and (2) second-degree vehicular homicide.  These are harsh criminal charges. However, a person intending to receive emergency medical treatment instead lost his life through no fault of his own.

Could This Accident Have Been Prevented?

It is always easier to go back and say that something should or should not have happened.  However, with regard to this tragic accident involving an ambulance, there are serious questions that must be answered to determine if the accident was preventable.  Given that this driver was acting within her employment, her employer will also have questions to answer to determine whether or not any steps could have been taken to ensure employees are not at risk for falling asleep during the course of employment or whether this specific employee was a risk prior to the incident.

Given the severe nature of this accident, both the driver and the EMS provider may be at risk of facing legal action for the injuries suffered by both the deceased patient as well as the EMT who was helping the patient inside the ambulance.  It can only be hoped that this tragic accident will send a message that drowsy driving poses a serious risk to those on the roadway, both drivers and passengers alike. 

Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

While accidents themselves can be unique, the types and severity of injuries can be consistent among catastrophic accidents.  If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from any type of accident in which someone else may be at fault, you should consider discussing the matter with a Georgia Car Accident Attorney at Montlick & Associates to learn about your legal rights and options.  With more than thirty-three years of combined professional experience, Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law is a firm that devotes its time and resources to representing the rights and interests of injured victims.  If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident and injuries with one of our Georgia Car Accident Attorneys, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law today by calling (800) LAW-NEED (529-6333).  You may also visit us online at www.montlick.com to complete a Free Case Evaluation Form, and you may also participate in a 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources:

http://newschannel9.com/news/local/report-ambulance-driver-crashes-crash-kills-patient-inside

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2017/jun/16/charges-possible-against-chattanooga-ambulance-driver-fatal-rome-ga-crash/433770/

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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Category: Auto Accidents

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