Two paramedics were hospitalized after an occupied ambulance overturned when it was struck by another vehicle in University City as emergency responders were assisting people from a previous crash.
What is a Move Over law?
The back-to-back collisions took place on Friday, May 12th at about 12:30 a.m. in the northeast area of Charlotte at the intersection of North Tryon Street and West Mallard Creek Church Road.
The first accident involved a black passenger vehicle and an SUV. Moments later, a third vehicle, driven by Brian Ogbonna, crashed into the ambulance as paramedics were helping victims of the initial collision. A spokesman from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said that the force of the impact was so great that it knocked the emergency vehicle onto its side.
One person inside the ambulance sustained severe injuries. Two other paramedics were also transported to an area hospital, one in serious condition, the other as a precaution.
Ogbonna was also hospitalized with serious injuries, as was a victim of the original collision.
Local police were able to confirm that Ogbonna had just run a red light when he struck the ambulance. He has warrants for three counts of assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious injury and felony failure to move over.
This accident remains under police investigation at this time.
If you were injured in a traffic collision in North Carolina, the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you prove liability and secure the financial recovery to which you are entitled. Call us today to schedule your free case review.
Is North Carolina’s Move Over Law New?
No, North Carolina has had a Move Over law on its books since January 2002 when the state legislature enacted standards designed to protect emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and police cars, that are stopped on the side of the roadway. This law altered the dynamics between emergency vehicles and traditional vehicles, especially in cases where emergency vehicles are stopped on the roadside, with their lights activated, carrying out their duties. The kinds of emergency vehicles this law is directed at include:
- Police vehicles
- Fire vehicles
- Rescue vehicles, including private and public ambulances
- Private or public road maintenance vehicles
- Wreckers responding to disabled vehicles or accidents
- Public utility vehicles
- Trash collection vehicles
The law states that drivers are required to move out of the lane that is closest to the standing or parked utility or emergency vehicle. Drivers must then remain in that lane until they are completely clear of the vehicle. The law applies when a roadway has two or more lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction and the lane change can be executed without disrupting other traffic.
What Are the Penalties for Violating the Move Over Law?
In December 2019, the penalties for violating North Carolina’s Move Over Law increased when serious accidents were involved.
Revisions to the law now include drivers who fail to comply being charged with a Class F felony if they cause serious injuries or death to a firefighter, a police officer, an emergency responder, a utility worker, or an emergency vehicle operator. These offenses are punishable by anywhere from 10 to 41 months of incarceration and the loss of their driver’s license for as long as six months.
Did a Violation of North Carolina’s Move Over Law Cause Your Car Accident?
If you were injured by a driver who chose to disregard the Move Over law, or any other North Carolina driving law, it is important that you work with a qualified attorney who can make sure that you know your rights and help you seek the maximum amount of damages for your injury claim.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced North Carolina motor vehicle accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774. We have the resources and knowledge you need to reach a successful resolution to your North Carolina car accident case.