Ohio EMT Killed in Ambulance Crash


RIDGEWAY, OH — One EMT died and another is in serious condition after a vehicle struck the side of an ambulance Saturday night.

Cleveland.com reported that volunteer EMT Krista McDonald, who was also a dispatcher for the Bellefontaine Police Department, was driving for Southeast Hardin Ambulance District when a vehicle ran through a stop sign and hit the ambulance. McDonald was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

EMT Peggy Eastman was also ejected from the ambulance. She was transported to the hospital by helicopter in serious condition.

Officials said no patients were being transported at the time of the crash; the ambulance was returning from the scene of another crash.

The driver of the vehicle, Rachael Willeke, passenger Alexander Young and a child were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), analyzed data from the past 20 years and found that each year, the nation averages 29 fatal crashes involving an ambulance, resulting in an average of 33 fatalities annually.

While one-fourth of those fatalities are inside the ambulance at the time of the crash, in the majority of fatal crashes involving an ambulance, the driver or passenger of another vehicle is the one who is killed. In nonfatal injuries, an average of 1,500 ambulance crashes per year result in injury, with 46% of injuries occurring among people inside the ambulance at the time of the collision.

The number of ambulance crashes and fatalities may seem high, according to the data, but the nation lost 32,719 people in roadway crashes during 2013. For more than a decade, NHTSA’s Special Crash Investigations teams have conducted investigations of serious ambulance crashes. Investigators collect information about pre-crash, crash and post-crash events.

These events include pre-crash activities of the persons involved and the circumstances or contributing factors to the crash, including any environmental, roadway or equipment factors. By using visual inspections of roadways and vehicles along with interviewing all involved, the investigations provide factual insight into the crash. This type of data is invaluable to determine the nature and causes of injuries sustained in the crash by all occupants. NHTSA has conducted more than 50 of these in-depth investigations.

By using visual inspections of roadways and vehicles along with interviewing all involved, the investigations provide factual insight into the crash. This type of data is invaluable to determine the nature and causes of injuries sustained in the crash by all occupants.

NHTSA has conducted more than 50 of these in-depth investigations.