Ohio EMT admits to using cellphone GPS in fatal crash

She said she took her eyes off the road in an ambulance rollover that killed a patient onboard

MANSFIELD, Ohio — An EMT said in statement that she was using the GPS on her cellphone at the time of an ambulance crash that killed a patient on board.

Amber D. Brown, 30, of Cleveland, told Ohio Highway Patrol she was on her phone because the GPS in the ambulance wasn’t working. She said she may have taken her eyes off the road for five to 10 seconds, the Mansfield News Journal reports. 

Around 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 15, she was in the center lane of I-71 and traveling about 75 mph when she went off the left side of the exit ramp, through a guardrail and over an embankment. The ambulance rolled several times.

"I was looking at the GPS to see the time of arrival,” Brown told a trooper. “I guess I drifted over and ended up sideways going off the roadway."

Patient Michael L. Willis, 56, of Cleveland, was pronounced dead at the scene. Willis and EMT James A. Phillips, 30, were both ejected from the vehicle. Phillips and Brown were transported to OhioHealth MedCentral Mansfield Hospital with minor injuries.

Brown said in her voluntary statement that she did not have lights and sirens activated, and she was transporting a patient between hospitals when the crash occurred.

The speed of the ambulance and the cause of the crash are under investigation. No charges have been filed against Brown pending a toxicology and autopsy report. 

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