Alabama Responder on Trial for Fatal Ambulance Crash

Alabama Responder on Trial for Fatal Ambulance Crash

News May 09, 2012

 

 Testimony is slated to resume today in the trial of an Alabama ambulance driver charged with manslaughter in a crash that killed an elderly woman.

Sherrie Stone Varnon is accused of causing the 2009 wreck that killed Norma Alexander, 72, according to WBRC.

During opening statements, attorneys painted two different pictures of the fatal wreck.

Prosecutors told jurors that Varnon was looking at her phone while driving the ambulance about 87 mph, the station reported.

The defense attorney blamed the wreck in Bessemer on the victim's daughter, Lisa Alexander.

Running late for a doctor's appointment, she told jurors she decided to cross the median when she saw traffic ahead of her stopped for a wreck, the station reported.

She added that she saw flashing lights far off in the distance. But, her vehicle was struck in the rear by a Rural Metro ambulance.

Varnon originally told police  said she was following behind an ambulance from the first accident, headed to UAB. Although she didn't have a patient or passenger, the ambulance's lights and siren were on and she was going more than 87 miles per hour.

She says dispatchers called and as she went to answer her phone, the wreck occurred, according to reporters.

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A video recording inside the ambulance showed a different story to jurors. It depicts Varnon, with a phone in her right hand, looking down for almost 10 seconds.

She looked up just seconds before the ambulance slammed into the back of the Alexander's SUV, causing it to flip four times.

The elderly woman was ejected, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case resumes Wednesday.

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