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Ambulance crashes with patient
Mall wreck BEST.jpg
A Warren County ambulance driven by Brian Campbell was struck Monday afternoon when Eva Jacobs, driver of the Camry, failed to yield while turning left in front of the Three Star Mall. According to patrol officer Stephen Daniels, Jacobs, 75, was transported by another ambulance to Saint Thomas River Park Hospital. She was cited for failure to yield. - photo by Lacy Garrison

Warren County EMS has another wrecked vehicle to repair, the third in less than nine months. 

“I guess everyone has heard we are down another vehicle,” said Commissioner Ron Lee, during Monday night’s Safety Committee meeting. “We had an ambulance involved in a little wreck this afternoon.”

The latest wreck occurred at the main intersection in front of Three Star Mall. An ambulance driven by paramedic Brian Campbell was heading outbound transporting a patient to Saint Thomas River Park. Eva Jacobs was traveling inbound and attempted a left turn into the mall. As the two entered the intersection, the ambulance struck the front passenger side area of the car. 

According to EMS director Preston Denney, no one was seriously injured in the crash.

“Everyone was checked, treated and released from the hospital,” said Denney, of both drivers, the second paramedic and the patient. 

Jacobs was cited for failure to yield. 

Denney says both drivers had a green light.

“The light was green for both drivers, but the driver of the other vehicle didn’t have a protected turn arrow,” said Denney. “She was supposed to yield. I believe she just got confused and thought she could turn. I don’t know. The bad part is there were two witnesses to the crash and both left.”

What could have turned into a situation of he said, she said on whom was at fault, prompted Denney to make a request for GPS and cameras for all ambulances.

“We were asked about GPS and cameras on the wreck back in March. We don’t have that. After this wreck, that is something I’d like to look into. They are motion activated. It would have protected us from liability today, if she hadn’t been honest about not having a protected arrow.”

The first wreck occurred in March on Interstate 24 near Nashville. It involved two EMS employees returning from transporting a patient to a Nashville hospital. Cornelius Hurt, 29, of Nashville was critically injured when the Warren County ambulance struck his Nissan Altima, which was stopped on the shoulder from a wreck minutes earlier.

Wreck No. 2 happened in October. That wreck was a three-vehicle crash triggered when a woman ran a red light at an intersection on the bypass and collided with an SUV pulling a trailer. EMS employee Daniel Scruggs was waiting in the turn lane in a supervisor’s truck to turn left onto Mullican Street when he was caught up in the crash.

Warren County purchased a used ambulance as an emergency backup to replace the one wrecked in March. Select-tech in Shelbyville is rebuilding the wrecked ambulance which is currently waiting for a new chassis (frame). The ambulance is scheduled to be back on the road this Thursday.

The ambulance wrecked Monday was towed to Hullett’s Service Center in Morrison. It will be taken to Select-tech for necessary repairs.

Safety Committee members approved Denney obtaining estimates on cameras for EMS vehicles.