Conn. EMS providers injured in multi-vehicle crash while responding to DUI wreck

The three occupants of the ambulance were transported to a hospital for treatment, but no other injuries were reported, police said


Ahjané Forbes
Hartford Courant

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — An ambulance was involved in a multi-vehicle crash while responding to a DUI crash on Interstate 91 in Middletown on Friday, according to the Connecticut State Police.

Police said a Hamden woman, who was under the influence, was traveling on I-91 northbound near Exit 20 around 12:42 p.m. when she drove her Ford Escape off of the left shoulder and collided with the metal guard rail then drove off the right shoulder and collided with another guard rail.

A good Samaritan helped the woman, Linda Pernal, 57, out of her vehicle. While sitting on the rail, police said Pernal fell down the embankment and suffered minor injuries. Pernal was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for treatment.

An ambulance that was responding to the Pernal’s crash was also involved in a multi-vehicle accident, police said.

Flashing its emergency lights and siren, the ambulance slowed down to get to the emergency scene. A Nissan Altima struck the back of a Toyota Sienna that struck the back of a Honda CRV. The Honda then struck the back driver’s side of the ambulance, according to police.

Police said the three occupants of the ambulance were transported to the hospital for their injuries. No other injuries were reported. The driver of the Nissan was found to be at fault for the collision and was issued an infraction for traveling too close which caused the crash, according to police.

The Toyota continued north and was involved in a separate crash after rear-ending a Kia Optima near Exit 21 on I-91. The driver and passenger in the Kia were transported to Middlesex Hospital. The driver of the Toyota was found at fault and received a written warning for following too closely.

During the investigation, police said Pernal was under the influence of drugs. Police said suspected drugs were located inside the Ford. Pernal was taken into custody and charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license, failure to maintain lane, operating under the influence and illegal possession.

Pernal was released on a $5,000 bond and is due in Middletown Superior Court on Sept. 6.

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©2022 Hartford Courant

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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