INDIANAPOLIS – A car collided with an ambulance early Saturday morning in downtown Indianapolis, leaving one of the medics inside dead and the other severely injured.
Police said the ambulance was not on an emergency run when the accident happened, shortly after 3:30 a.m. at an intersection near the Indiana Statehouse. Police said the ambulance had the right of way because it had a flashing yellow traffic signal, while the traffic signal for the car was flashing red.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Linda Jackson said the impact caused the ambulance to roll onto its side and slide into an unoccupied parked vehicle, trapping both medics inside. Firefighters pried both victims out of the wreckage and they were taken to nearby Wishard Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Public safety officials identified the medic who died as Tim McCormick, 24, an Eagle Scout from New York who attended St. Lawrence University. McCormick, who lived in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, was driving the ambulance, officials said.
The other medic who was in the ambulance was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries, officials said a news conference. That medic's name was not released.
No one else was in the ambulance. Both medics were wearing seatbelts, police said.
The car's driver was taken to the hospital for a blood test, which is routine in such accidents.
Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said McCormick's death is the first known line-of-duty death of an emergency services worker in the city's history. He said medics, police and firefighters are a family.
"Today a member of that family is missing," Riggs said. He said McCormick's death will be handled like that of a police officer or firefighter.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a statement that McCormick's death was "a terrible loss."
"When we are most in need, IEMS takes care of us. Now it is our time as a community to take care of them," he said.