EMT on trial for involuntary manslaughter in wreck that killed patient

Matthew A. Vancamp was driving the ambulance transporting Samantha Lehmann, when it slammed into the back of a stalled tanker truck carrying cranberry juice

Keith Epps
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.

A trial is underway for an ambulance driver charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a crash last year in Stafford following which a patient he was transporting died.

The scheduled three-day jury trial for 31-year-old Matthew A. Vancamp of Manassas started Wednesday in Stafford Circuit Court. Vancamp is also charged with reckless driving, court records show.

Samantha Lehmann, 47, of Culpeper was being transported to a medical facility on Feb. 27 of last year when the private ambulance she was riding in crashed into the back of a tanker truck on southbound U.S. 17 and Hartwood Road in Stafford. Lehmann died a little over a week later at Mary Washington Hospital as the result of injuries suffered in the crash.

The tanker truck, which was carrying cranberry juice, was stopped when the ambulance hit it from behind. Traffic was stalled for hours as the result of the incident, which took place about 7 a.m.

Stafford Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Aubry, the lead investigator of the crash, testified Wednesday that the scene “looked like a bomb went off.”

According to the evidence, Vancamp told police that he was blinded by the sun and didn’t see the tanker until just before impact. His attorney, Dave Albo, contends that is was simply a terrible accident and certainly not cause for a felony conviction.

Prosecutor Kristin Bird put on evidence that Vancamp had a clear line of sight for at least 1,900 feet yet never slowed down before the collision. Aubry said information obtained from the ambulance showed it was traveling 64 mph seconds before the impact.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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