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FDNY EMT Hit, Killed by Stolen Ambulance in the Bronx

AMNY - March 17, 2017

by Lauren Cook

An FDNY EMT was killed in the Bronx when a man stole her ambulance Thursday evening and ran her over with it while trying to get away, police said.

“It’s a tough moment for all, but it’s a moment where we honor those who serve us and protect us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference.

The crash happened around 7:08 p.m. at the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Avenue in Soundview, police said.

The ambulance was headed south on White Plains Road when police said someone flagged the driver down to tell her there was a man riding on the vehicle's back bumper. When the driver got out of the ambulance to investigate, the man ran up and jumped behind the wheel, police said.

As the driver tried to pull the suspect out of the ambulance, police said he started to drive off and the EMT fell to the street. She was hit by the rear wheels of the ambulance as the vehicle turned onto Watson Avenue, according to police.

The driver, a 44-year-old mother of five and 14-year FDNY veteran, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, police said.

“Sadly, we’re heading to a line-of-duty funeral,” said Robert Ungar, spokesman for the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local 2507. “It doesn’t happen often in the EMS division, but they do happen.”

Police and fire officials initially said the driver and a second EMT, who was a passenger in the ambulance, were both hit during the crash, but they later said the second EMT had remained in the vehicle during the ordeal. The second EMT was also taken to Jacobi Medical Center to be treated for shock.

“They were acting very bravely,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “This person had no business being in the ambulance.

Police said an MTA officer in the area and other bystanders held the 25-year-old carjacker until officers arrived and took him into custody.

In a statement released on Facebook, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called the deadly crash a "terrible tragedy."

"This is a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire EMS family, as well as these two individuals, their families and friends, during this difficult time," he said in the statement. ". . . I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices that are made by our first responders — especially the sacrifice made by one EMT this evening — and to pray for a speedy recovery for the EMT who is in critical condition this evening."

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

With Newsday