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Calif. EMS Providers Among 5 Injured in Ambulance Crash

The San Diego Union-Tribune

May 17—Five people, including an ambulance driver and paramedic, suffered serious injuries in a three-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon in Kearny Mesa, authorities said.

Police said one of the two smaller cars involved drifted into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into the ambulance, which was not transporting any patients at the time.

The passenger in that car, a 20-year-old man, suffered life-threatening injuries, San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said.

The collision was reported just before 2:15 p.m. on Kearny Villa Road south of Balboa Avenue, near the northbound state Route 163 off-ramp, according to a Fire Department dispatch log.

A 21-year-old man driving a 2008 Infiniti G35S was headed northbound on Kearny Villa Road when, for unknown reasons, the car drifted across the roadway and struck the southbound AMR ambulance, Heims said. That caused the ambulance to veer and collide with a Hyundai Azera, which was slightly behind and in a lane to the right of the ambulance.

The two paramedics were trapped in the front of the ambulance—the driver was a woman and the passenger was a man—and the two young men in the Infiniti were also trapped, San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Matt Nilsen told reporters at the scene, including San Diego News Video.

Once freed from their vehicles, those four were rushed to nearby Sharp Memorial Hospital as trauma patients, according to Nilsen and Fire Department spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz.

The worst injuries were incurred by the 20-year-old passenger in the Infiniti, who sustained life-threatening internal injuries and broken bones, Heims said.

One of the paramedics in the ambulance blacked out during the crash but quickly regained consciousness, Nilsen said.

The ambulance driver had bleeding in her brain and a fractured right ankle, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening, Heims said. The other paramedic had a fractured left forearm, the Infiniti's driver suffered a concussion and complained of pain and the Hyundai's driver sustained a fractured right wrist.

None of those injuries were considered life-threatening, according to Heims.

San Diego police closed down Kearny Villa Road between Balboa Avenue and Aero Drive for more than four hours during an investigation by the department's traffic division.

The roadway was reopened about 6:45 p.m., police said.


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