Most residents of Louisiana regard ambulances as vehicles of hope and rescue. Unfortunately, ambulances and other emergency vehicles are not immune from the hazards of the roadway, as demonstrated by a recent accident in Pointe Coupee Parish in Louisiana.
According to police at the scene, the ambulance rear-ended a sedan and then crossed the centerline and struck a Coca-Cola semi-trailer delivery truck head-on. Both the ambulance driver and the patient died in the collision. An unhappy footnote is the fact that the driver was pregnant at the time of the accident. The patient was being returned to his nursing home after undergoing surgery.
Police said that the driver and the patient were both properly restrained in the ambulance. An EMT also riding in the ambulance was injured in the collision and taken to a Baton Rouge hospital in critical condition for treatment of his injuries. The occupants of the truck and the sedan received only moderate injuries.
Possible causes of the accident
Toxicology samples were taken from both the ambulance and truck drivers, but no results were released to the public. The State Highway Patrol said only that its investigation of the accident is continuing.
Complex accidents such as this one often have more than one cause. While alcohol or drug impairment are obvious possibilities, other causes include inattention by the ambulance driver, mechanical malfunction in the ambulance, a sudden braking by the sedan without proper signals, or inadequate maintenance of one or more of the vehicles.
Seeking possible damages
Determining the cause of the accident and then evaluating potential fault are essential to a successful claim for damages. The families of the two drivers have potential claims for wrongful death, and the injured EMT has a claim for medical expenses, lost income and potential long term disability. An experienced accident attorney might be required to sort out the evidence and potential legal claims.