Emergency Medical Services Expert Discusses Collision Between Ambulance and Pedestrian

Ambulance Expert WitnessThis case involves an individual who was hit by an ambulance while crossing the street. The plaintiff was crossing a busy street during a red light when traffic was stopped. The individual worked his way through the stopped traffic and as he approached the double yellow lines an ambulance struck him while it was traveling against traffic utilizing the opposite side of the road to avoid the traffic. The ambulance was responding to an emergency call and had its sirens and lights on to warn the public. The ambulance did not use any other means or any special alerts when entering the intersection.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What are the proper procedures and protocols for ambulance drivers when responding to emergency calls?
  • 2. Are there any other measures which can be employed when entering busy intersections to warn the public?

Expert Witness Response O-002723

An EMS vehicle must have its lights and sirens on and operating continuously by paramedics well before an accident occurs. That being said, I have certain questions as to additional factors come into play that certainly could have influenced this situation well beyond simply using lights and sirens. Was this a formal intersection? What was the “Walk/Don?t Walk” status, if any? Was this in a crosswalk? What was the time of day and what were the conditions of the day? Did the plaintiff have any distracting devices in use? Did the plaintiff have any hearing disabilities? What cadence was the siren at time of incident and was it changed and when? Did the driver have CEVO or EVOC training? Did the ambulance have a “black box” recording device? If so, what were the findings? Is there a copy of police accident report available?

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