Many Massachusetts residents living in rehabilitation centers or nursing homes require medical procedures that must be performed at another location. Ambulance services often transport these patients back and forth for their treatments. On the morning of Jan. 21, an ambulance was transporting a dialysis patient back to the nursing center where she lived when it was involved in an ambulance vs. car accident.
Authorities report that a 61-year-old woman failed to obey a stop sign. The ambulance driver noticed the woman's vehicle barreling toward them without slowing. The driver attempted to avoid a collision by speeding up, but the car still slammed into the back of the ambulance. The impact sent the ambulance rolling until it came to a rest on a guardrail.
The paramedic in the ambulance saw the patient was in cardiac arrest and attempted to save the woman's life, even though the medic was dazed. Despite those efforts, the 58-year-old patient died within minutes after the accident. The driver of the car that struck the ambulance was charged with vehicular homicide, negligent operation and failure to stop, yield or slow down. If convicted, she faces up to two-and-a-half years in prison and her driver's license could be suspended for as long as 15 years.
As the criminal proceedings progress, the family of the deceased woman may exercise its right to file a wrongful death claim against the woman. Proving to a Massachusetts court's satisfaction that the car driver was negligent and that her actions took the life of their loved one could result in an award for financial damages. Those damages will not bring back their loved one, but they may help with any financial losses incurred because of the car accident.
Source: wcvb.com, "Framingham driver in fatal Milford ambulance crash arraigned", Matt Tota, April 4, 2014