Cop allegedly asked mom of dying patient to drive rig

Shelly LeGere is currently campaigning to have ALS fire apparatus respond to medical calls


By Laura French

ELMHURST, Ill. — An Illinois woman whose daughter died due to a severe allergic reaction six years ago said in a recent interview that she was asked to drive the ambulance to the hospital. 

Shelly LeGere, whose daughter Annie, 13, died after suffering an allergic reaction at a slumber party in August 2015, is currently campaigning to add advanced life support capabilities to fire apparatus in Elmhurst, according to Patch.com.

Shelly LeGere (left) says she was asked to drive the ambulance on the day her daughter Annie (right), 13, died due to a severe allergic reaction in 2015. LeGere is campaigning to have ALS capabilities added to fire apparatus in Elmhurst.
Shelly LeGere (left) says she was asked to drive the ambulance on the day her daughter Annie (right), 13, died due to a severe allergic reaction in 2015. LeGere is campaigning to have ALS capabilities added to fire apparatus in Elmhurst. (Photo/Illinois Senate Republican Caucus)

LeGere claims the city stopped sending fire apparatus to medical calls shortly before her daughter's death, and that both of the paramedics who treated her daughter were inexperienced, having been on the job for three months or less. 

According to LeGere, who has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, a police officer asked her to drive the ambulance so the medics could continue tending to her daughter in the back. LeGere refused, saying she didn't know how to drive an ambulance and was too distraught to drive, and the police officer ultimately drove the rig to the hospital, LeGere said in the interview with Patch. 

Elmhurst Alderwoman Marti Deuter disputed LeGere's account, saying in a statement to Patch, "As I understand the facts of the case, which I believe may be accessible through a [public records] request, the ambulance arrived on the scene prior to the fire apparatus, and the paramedics were qualified to provide care. Neither ALS on fire apparatus nor firefighters staffing the ambulances would have changed the trajectory of that tragic night." 

Deuter has also accused members of LeGere's advocacy organization, the Annie LeGere Foundation, of exploiting the tragedy to push for ALS on fire apparatus. The city's fire union, Elmhurst Firefighters Local 3541, is also calling for ALS to be added to fire apparatus, but city officials have opposed the change due to its costs. 

The Annie LeGere Foundation previously successfully campaigned to change state law to allow police officers to carry and use EpiPens; "Annie LeGere's Law" was signed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018. 

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