7.29.2013

Paramedic Escapes Charges After Critical Head-On Wreck

In May of this year there was a head-on crash between an ambulance and a full-size pickup truck on a semi-rural road in upstate New York. The damage was extensive, but thankfully no one was killed. There were serious injuries though.

The driver of the ambulance, a 43-year old paramedic, was in critical condition after he was extricated from the twisted wreck. He was airlifted to the Albany Medical Center. Also in the ambulance was his 22-year old girlfriend, an EMT. It was reported that she suffered a head-injury but that her condition was less serious. They were both on duty at the time of the crash, moving the ambulance from one station to another, but they were not on an emergency call and there was no patient on-board. The wreck occurred just before 7 a.m.

An 18-year old male had to be extricated from the mangled pickup truck he had been driving. but it was reported that he had only minor injuries. His 21-year old male passenger also escaped without serious injury.

You can read local reporting at the folling links:

Daily Freeman

Times-Herald Record



The investigation has determined that the wreck occurred when when the ambulance traveled over the center double-yellow line and struck the pickup truck which was traveling in the opposite direction. No tickets were issued in the accident.

Wait what? No tickets were issued?

According to a report from YNN:

Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico says it’s not uncommon for tickets to not be issued in accidents like this and the investigation has been completed.

Accidents like this one? Does he mean unintentional accidents, or wrecks in which first-responders are involved and shown favoritism?

Perhaps it could be best summed up by the comments of a local person, who wishes to remain anonymous but had this to say:

Having worked side by side with people from Mobile Life this wreck certainly put my stomach in a knot, and I am certainly glad it didn't turn out any worse than it did. But I find it absolutely ridiculous that there were no tickets issued. It was obviously not intentional, that's why they call it an accident. But the paramedic crossed over the line into oncoming traffic. That is what caused the wreck. And you can damn well bet that if it was YOU who made that mistake, and hit an emergency vehicle, they would have thrown the book at you. And if I was the person in the other car, I would be in a fit of rage right now that the person who injured me was not going to be held accountable.

Precisely. An accident is an accident. Yet tickets are issued at accidents almost universally except, it seems, when a person wearing a badge is at fault.

Now don't get me wrong here, I am thankful to the job that first-responders do in saving lives and coping with all sorts of human tragedy. Especially firefighters, and of course emergency medical personnel who's sole purpose in life is to save lives. But yet again, we see another example of how there are two classes of citizens in this country when it comes to how the law is applied. There are the favored, the police, their friends and family, and then there are the rest of us who pay their salaries and get no such special privilege. 


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