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NY ambulance crashes after EMT falls asleep

A Mobile Life Support Services ambulance was transporting a patient when the ambulance crashed into a tree

By EMS1 Staff

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — An ambulance crash occurred Monday after the EMT behind the wheel fell asleep, according to police.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that the Mobile Life Support Services ambulance was transporting a patient when EMT Hugh Rhoden fell asleep and crashed the rig into a tree.

Rhoden told police he was at a traffic light when he fell asleep and woke up when the rig hit a curb.

“Operator states he then quickly tried to apply the brakes and stop but mistakenly hit the gas, propelling the ambulance forward, off the roadway, striking a chain link fence and coming to a stop upon striking a tree,” the report read.

The patient complained of head pain “from being shaken up during the impact” and was evaluated at the hospital. No other injuries occurred in the incident.

Rhoden does not face any charges, and Capt. Steven Minard said drivers who fall asleep are not usually charged unless they are intoxicated or intent to do harm is proven.

MLSS spokesperson Tricia Mood said Rhoden was a “wonderful employee” who has no prior record of such incidents, which she said are “a very uncommon occurrence.”

Mood added that Rhoden was working a normal 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift when the crash occurred. The agency is looking into how safety procedures can be improved.

“We really do try to make an environment that is healthy and safe for everyone involved,” Mood said.