Okla. Ambulance Crash Leaves Patient Dead
Aug. 16—A Blanchard woman who was a patient in an ambulance was killed when the driver crashed in southwest Oklahoma City early Wednesday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports.
Carolyn D. Koch, 66, died at the scene due to a head injury. She was thrown from the ambulance when it rolled and came apart about 12:10 a.m., the patrol reports.
Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons said Wednesday morning the driver may have been speeding.
"It appears at this point in the investigation speed could have been a contributing factor," Timmons said.
Matthew B. Erickson, 32, of Yukon, who drove the ambulance, was taken to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City where he was admitted in good condition.
Another passenger, paramedic Chelsea M. Stewart, 28, of Norman, was taken to OU Medical Center where she was admitted in good condition and treated for back injuries. She was also thrown from the ambulance during the crash.
The ambulance was from St. Anthony Hospital. A spokeswoman, Sandra Payne released a statement Wednesday.
"We are deeply saddened to confirm that this morning, a St. Anthony ambulance was involved in an accident at I-44 and S.W. 59th."
Payne states that the emergency medical team was transporting a patient from St. Anthony Healthplex South to their main campus downtown for further observation when the accident occurred. The two St. Anthony staff members in the ambulance, an EMT and a paramedic, were taken to OU Medical Center.
Payne also stated, "This is a tragic time for the St. Anthony family, as the safety of our patients and our employees is a top priority. We extend our prayers, thoughts and support to the patient's family and our co-workers and their families during this very difficult time."
The patrol reported that Erickson was driving east on I-44 when he drove off the roadway for an unknown reason. The ambulance slid and rolled. The compartment separated from the ambulance cab. The cab landed upside down. The ambulance cargo compartment was destroyed on impact, the patrol reports. It is not known if anyone in the ambulance wore a seat belt.
Interstate 44 eastbound from Interstate 240 to SW 59 was closed as the crash was investigated early Wednesday. The interstate reopened about 5:15 a.m. But another crash about 6 a.m. caused congestion at the scene for eastbound motorists during the morning commute.