Ambulance drivers always have a difficult task on their hands. They need to transport the victim, medic and any other additional family members or passengers to the hospital as fast as they can while navigating through Nashville’s terrible traffic. Drivers that do not slow down or move over to an adjacent lane when the emergency vehicle starts speeding forward with the sirens blasting could receive up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.
It is also the duty of the ambulance driver to get the victim to the hospital safely. While getting to the destination quickly is important, not considering other road hazards means they could be putting themselves and anyone else in the vehicle at risk. Winter makes driving especially dangerous with how much snow, rain, and ice accumulates on the roads. A recent crash in the city demonstrates the consequences that occur when ambulance drivers fail to consider seasonal hazards during their trips.
One mistake, two deaths
On the last day of November 2018, a middle-aged female driver was transporting a 36-year-old mother experiencing chest pain and a medic from Jackson to Nashville while it was raining outside. When she tried to turn on a curve, her vehicle hydroplaned and crashed into a rock wall. The victim and the medic ejected from the back of the ambulance in the process. Additional emergency vehicles arrived to transport all three occupants to a nearby hospital. The victim and the medic died from the crash while the driver received non-life-threatening injuries.
The police concluded that the driver crashed due to excessive speed and dangerous weather conditions. Drivers that witnessed the crash also mentioned that the ambulance did not have the emergency equipment activated.
Nearly a week after the crash, the family of the victim filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the ambulance driver. The suit mentions that the driver did not keep her eyes properly on the road, failed to properly signal to other drivers and that her speed was the primary cause of the victim’s death. The victim’s ex-husband filed the suit to ensure that their children will receive enough to help recover from the tragic incident.
While ambulance drivers have difficult jobs, the public still trusts them to transport victims and staff cautiously. Nashville may be a city on the southern side of the nation, but it is still vulnerable to several winter hazards such as rain and ice that these drivers need to think about before taking off. If you or a loved one were hurt by a reckless ambulance driver or a motorist that did not respond to an emergency vehicle properly, you may be entitled to file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit to recover from the damage.