NJ EMT killed in ambulance crash laid to rest

Hundreds of family, friends and first responders attended the funeral service for Hinal Patel, 22, who planned to attend medical school in the fall

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Family and friends mourned a New Jersey EMT who was killed when a car collided with an ambulance at an intersection.

EMT Hinal Patel, 22, died Saturday in an ambulance crash. She was laid to rest Monday as hundreds of friends, family members and emergency responders from across the state attended the service.

At the funeral in Franklin Memorial Park in North Brunswick, East Brunswick Rescue Squad Captain A.J. Steinhart called her death tragic, and difficult for her many EMS colleagues.

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“This was a tough week for local first responders,” Steinhart told Tapinto.com.

Dulce Branco-Rivera, president of the Spotswood Board of Education, said that Patel “lived a short life, but one that was full of meaning and purpose.”

Reverend John Maltby, Chaplain of the South Brunswick Police and Fire Departments since 1976, also remarked on the loss.

“Every one of us has lost a kid sister this week,” Matby said. “I have seen generations come through. We will honor her by the quality of our service.”

Patel was completing what was supposed to be her last shift at Spotswood EMS. She was in the ambulance's front passenger seat when the crash occurred Saturday in East Brunswick.

Authorities say Patel and EMT Mark Seube, 24, were on their way to assist at a car accident in East Brunswick. The ambulance had its emergency lights and sirens activated, and no patients were inside.

Police say a car driven by 58-year-old Kathleen Meade of East Brunswick struck the ambulance in an intersection, overturning the ambulance and causing it to slide into another car.

Patel died at the scene. Meade and the Seube were treated at local hospitals.

Patel worked at Spotswood EMS, was a summer intern for the pharmaceutical company Actavis/Allergan, and a volunteer at both the North Stelton Rescue Squad in Piscataway and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.  

Patent recently completed her Bachelor’s degree in cell biology and neuroscience from Rutgers University. This fall, she planned to enter a Master’s degree program in the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Newark, N.J. and wanted to pursue a career as a physician or a physician’s assistant.

Her casket arrived in an emergency vehicle from the North Stelton Rescue Squad, whose members also served as pallbearers along with her friends, relatives and members of the Spotswood EMS.

Her body was escorted from the funeral chapel by an honor guard, and followed by friends and relatives singing a Hindu recessional.

A community memorial service for Patel will be held on Main Street and Vaughn Avenue in Spotswood on Tuesday, July 28 at 8:30 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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