In an update to a story we first brought you in our October 13 blog post, a North Carolina ambulance driver has now pleaded guilty for his role in a car accident that killed a 19-year-old woman. The man faced a single count of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, and after his plea he was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail and three years of probation. He will also be required to pay restitution of almost $10,000 and write a letter to the family of the victim and give up his license for a year; he is barred from driving an emergency vehicle while he is on probation.
The car accident occurred when he ran a red light and crashed into the 19-year-old's Mazda. The ambulance driver claimed that the light was green as he was traveling and then turned yellow. At that time, he stated he could not stop the ambulance in time.
The ambulance was transporting a patient at the time, but the driver did not have his lights on and his siren was not in use. The victim was transported to a local hospital, but later passed away from her injuries. The ambulance driver has expressed remorse for his actions in the crash and when asked if he wanted to make a statement in court, he only stated that he hopes someone is able to learn from his mistakes.
The mother of the victim is apparently now bankrupt because of her daughter's death and was unable to attend the hearing.
When a loved one dies in a North Carolina car accident, it can be hard to understand the circumstances behind the crash. In this case, a split second decision took the life of a young woman and this cannot be undone. Although the ambulance driver is facing criminal repercussions for his role in this crash, the family of the victim may also have legal recourse available to them.
Whether they choose to file a claim for financial compensation is unknown, but some families do chose to do so to send an additional message to the driver and relieve the survivors of the financial burden imposed by such a tragedy.
Source: Star News Online, "Ambulance driver sentenced to probation in fatal accident," F. T. Norton, Sept. 4, 2012