LUMBERTON — Officials are hoping that footage captured by a camera mounted inside an ambulance will lead them to the person who caused the vehicle to wreck.
A Robeson County ambulance carrying two paramedics flipped over on N.C. 41 Wednesday after its driver swerved to avoid hitting a green Dodge Neon that had veered into its path, according to Greg Bounds, director of Robeson County Emergency Medical Services. Neither paramedic was seriously injured, but the vehicle was heavily damaged.
The ambulance’s camera recorded the car pulling into a driveway after causing the accident before fleeing the scene. Investigators are working to enhance the footage to capture the vehicle’s license plate number.
“The Highway Patrol very much wants to speak with those people,” Bounds said. “If anyone would like to call and contact them with any information, we would greatly appreciate that.”
The accident took place at about 6:45 p.m. while the ambulance was responding to a call in Fairmont. According to Bounds, the ambulance was traveling in the left-hand lane with its sirens blaring and lights flashing when the Dodge pulled in front of it from the right-hand lane.
“It missed them by the merest of distance… . They went down the shoulder of the road and hit a ditch, then the ambulance rolled over and came to a rest on its side in the middle of the highway,” Bounds said. “I’d like to commend that driver. Even though we wrecked the ambulance, we could have caused serious injury and I was pleased with their choice. The two paramedics handled themselves very professionally.”
Bounds said another ambulance was dispatched to respond to the call.
Bounds did not want to release the sames of the paramedics, who were were treated and released from Southeastern Regional Medical Center the same day.
Bounds was still waiting on Friday for a damage assessment of the ambulance, but called it “severe.”
Bounds, who has been with the Robeson County Emergency Medical Services for 26 years, said that motorists moving in front of ambulances is a common hazard.
“We frequently run into problems with people who turn in front of the ambulance or don’t know what to do when the ambulance is coming,” he said. “The best thing I can tell people to do is, if you can’t get to the right safely, don’t move at all. Not every circumstance is going to allow us to past to the left, but 90 percent of the time, we’re going to go toward the left.”
Anyone with information about the driver of the green Dodge Neon should call the Robeson County Highway Patrol office at 910-618-5555.