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Ambulance involved in two-vehicle accident Sunday


By Eddie Fitzgerald, Sun Journal, New Bern, N.C.

Feb. 03--A CarolinaEast Medical Center ambulance was involved in a two-vehicle accident Sunday morning on U.S. 17 that left the driver and a paramedic injured.

Both of the ambulance personnel were transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center by another ambulance after the wreck occurred at about 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Honda Drive beside Bojangles' and U.S. 17. New Bern police did not give their names.

Andrew Borner was driving north on U.S. 17 when he witnessed a Dodge pickup truck driving through the intersection from Honda Drive to Trent Road across the four-lane. The ambulance was traveling south on U.S. 17 when it struck the driver's side of the truck, spinning it around until it came to rest facing north in the southbound lane of U.S. 17.

The back wheel on the driver's side of the truck came off from the impact, and the front passenger side of the ambulance was heavily damaged. It came to rest in the median in front of Bojangles' facing south on the northbound side of the highway.

"It was bad," Borner said. "The worst part about it was the ambulance was going to a call."

The CarolinaEast ambulance had its emergency lights on, Borner said.

Borner called 911 and told the dispatcher an ambulance had been involved in an accident.

"The truck had the green light, but it didn't yield," he said.

Chad Beck of New Bern was driving the Dodge truck. He said before he drove into the intersection there was a car in the lane to his left and he didn't see or hear the ambulance.

After the accident, Beck said he got out of his truck and went to the ambulance to make sure everyone was all right. There were two people in the ambulance but no patients, he said.

Another CarolinaEast ambulance responded to the scene along with New Bern firefighters, New Bern police and Craven County sheriff's deputies.

Beck walked away from the wreck carrying some clothes and shoes as the tow truck arrived.

"I was wearing my seat belt and the truck had airbags," he said. "That's probably why I'm not hurt."

New Bern Police Sgt. B. Lewis said charges are pending and the investigation is continuing. He also said the ambulance had its siren on and emergency lights flashing at the time of the accident.

The injuries that the ambulance personnel suffered were not life-threatening, Lewis said.

Eddie Fitzgerald can be reached at 635-5675 or at eddie.fitzgerald@newbernsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @staffwriter3.

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©2013 the Sun Journal (New Bern, N.C.)

Visit the Sun Journal (New Bern, N.C.) at http://www.newbernsj.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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