03/11/10 96 W, 1 I - + 7 - 4 Saturday's Ambulance Accident in Durham County

As this WRAL story reported on Saturday, a Johnston Ambulance Service overturned several times after striking a ditch on Highway 751 between Hillsborough and Kerley Roads. Both the driver and the EMT passenger were injured, and were treated and stabilized by off-duty Rockingham County EMS personnel passing by. They utilized equipment from the damaged unit. Both were transported to Duke Medical Center. Both were wearing seat belts. No charges will be filed, as the unit was responding to a call at the time of the accident.

Greg Hutchinson/WRAL photo

You know, you could make a pretty effective “slow down for safety” poster with a montage of photos like this. But I’m a photographer and visual artist, so that’s how I think. Those agencies and individuals involved probably have a considerably less-favorable reaction to such depictions.
Legeros - 03/11/10 - 08:30

Mike, I agree.
DJ - 03/11/10 - 10:33

What type call would JAS be responding to in Durham County? If we bust through a light on a firetruck going to a call, since when do we not get charged?
curious - 03/11/10 - 14:06

I thought JAS was a convalescent service, so why would they be exceeding the speed limit going TO a call? Legeros- I think a montage of such photos would be an EXCELLENT idea. Since we don’t seem to be getting the message through training and education, maybe calling people and agencies out, putting the agency, their command staff, and the employees involved on the spot, is what we have to do.
Wondering too - 03/11/10 - 14:22

Why would they have to speed. I guess SHP or Durham PD doesn’t know that JAS wouldn’t need to burn the road up. Since most hospitals only ask for a 45 min ETA to their facility.
work2much - 03/11/10 - 14:49

JAS in some counties respond when requested to 911 calls if the county’s ambulances are tied up. Wilson county is one county that does this. also i have personally seen an JAS ambulance stop at an accident site and treat injured people and even block traffic until ems/rescue people arrived in Smithfield. furthermore in the above picture, the LEO in the the picture is an orange county sheriff deputy.
charlie (Email) - 03/11/10 - 17:45

Thinking more about my idea of a “Slow Down For Safety” poster. The thing would be full-color, with perhaps half-dozen or full dozen single shots of overturned apparatus or ambulances. Nothing gratuitous, just wide or full shots of the entire damaged vehicle.

If local in scope, you’d include Raleigh and Wake County accidents. If regional, you’d expand accordingly. And you’d probably stick to recent incidents. While a historical perspective might be interesting— with even older black-and-white images included— it would probably dilute the impact.

The agencies involved would be identified if the vehicle lettering was pictured. Would you also include captions, either below the pictures or collected at the bottom of the poster? Say, with department, city, and date or year? Don’t know. I’m not a big fan of motivation-by-shame (if that would be the thinking for inclusion). Maybe the added information would be ultimately useful. “It can happen here,” if you will. Or maybe the pictures would speak for themselves.

Okay, that takes care of the visuals. Easy enough to conceptualize the resulting product. What about the people involved? Well, you’d want consent from any department represented, right? And you’d want those individuals involved to also be okay with the project. If those riding the rig that day are comfortable, then cool. If one or more are not, then you’d pass on inclusion.

The project would probably benefit from a sponsor. Maybe a non-profit organization, like a firefighter’s organization? Or maybe a safety group, or initiative.

Of course, the real question is outcome. Would such a visual campaign result in slower and safer driving by emergency vehicle operators? Can’t answer that one.
Legeros - 03/11/10 - 18:20

Charlie, how do you think that is an Orange County Deputy Sheriff? He’s wearing blue not brown, and the traffic vest says police?! The resolution is to low but the patch on the uniform looks like DPD’s more than OCSD.
Look Again - 03/11/10 - 21:22

So here is one way to help slow drivers down. On a fire truck there is usually a guy in charge, if the driver, engineer, lieutenant or whatever you want to call him starts to drive erratic the man in charge of the crew should let his driver know, hey slow down or your down driving. As a whole the public safety sector of life needs to quit babying each other (for lack of better verbiage). This isnít working at Lowes, to where if you mess an order itís easy to fix, you mess up behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle it can be very life altering. I use that example because I know a few company officers that arenít afraid to say anything but more so they donít know that they should say anything. The one thing this state is lagging behind in is effective leader training. Sorry for the rant. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Guest - 03/11/10 - 23:39

it could be a dpd officer but kerley rd and 751 is in orange,751 and hillsbrough rd, [us70] is in durham county. it seems that the area is on the boundary for durham’s station 11 and eno fire. so i was assuming it was an orange deputy.
charlie (Email) - 03/12/10 - 00:58

after looking at the picture blown up, the officer is to the right of the county line sign. therefore , based on that fact and the patch on the coat appears to be orange county, i was assuming it was an orange deputy. either way i am glad the medics were not seriously hurt, and the off duty rockingham medics were in the right place at the right time.
charlie (Email) - 03/12/10 - 01:05

I know that all the free lance accident Investigators on this site are so good at inspecting accidents but, Unless you have the facts please don’t comment. JAS is a treditional Non-Emergency but JAS does Run 911 back up for Several Counties IE: Wilson, Sampson, Jones, Durham, Johnston, Duplin, and Jones So unless we know the facts you have no right to say that they have no reason to“Burn up the road” as it was put
Paramedic - 11/02/11 - 16:23

“No charges will be filed, as the unit was responding to a call at the time of the accident.” so what does this have to do with anything?? Unless there was a mechanical issue with the rig or they got run off in that ditch, careless and reckless is careless and reckless. And burning up the road is careless and reckless, no matter what county you are in. How many do we have to bury before folks wake up?
ASafeMedic - 11/03/11 - 01:11

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