Two members of the Florence, South Carolina (SC), Emergency Medical Service suffered injuries in a head-on collision that is being blamed on an impaired logging company driver. The crash occurred at the intersection of Lucas Street and Church Street just after 5 am on March 7, 2016.
The EMTs were reportedly exiting a hospital complex on an emergency call when the commercial driver's pickup truck crossed the center line of the road and collided with the ambulance. One person in the EMS vehicle sustained severe injuries, while the other EMT was treated at the hospital and released the same day.
Police have charged the logging company employee with driving under the influence and operating with a suspended license. Companies are supposed to ensure that all employees who drive corporate vehicles hold valid driver's licenses. Also, commercial drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing in order to qualify and maintain a CDL. An investigation into the wreck in Florence will need to include checks on whether the at-fault driver had been properly credentialed and vetted.
Determining whose insurance coverage applies will also be necessary. The driver himself almost definitely bears liability, but his insurance policy may prove insufficient to pay the victims' medical bills and make up for other crash-related expenses such as lost wages and ongoing disability. Depending on circumstances such as whether the pickup truck operator was on assignment--that is, at work--at the time of the crash and whether his supervisors gave him permission to use the company vehicle, the logging company may bear some liability for making compensation and paying damages to the injured EMS workers.
Speaking with a Carolina personal injury lawyer who has experience helping people hurt in crashes caused by commercial vehicle drivers could help the injured EMTs receive the insurance payments they need to recover fully.