An ambulance crash in Alleghany County, Virginia (VA), left a patient dead and the driver and an EMT hospitalized with injuries. The medical transport ran off Potts Creek Road and rolled over on the afternoon of July 27, 2016.
Virginia State Police identified the deceased patient as 69-year-old Claudette Wince of Covington. Investigators could not immediately explain why the ambulance driver lost control of the vehicle, and it remained unclear into the following day whether charges related to negligent or reckless driving would be filed.
The rural highway where the deadly crash occurred winds through hilly terrain. Narrow shoulders and sharp curves require all drivers to pay close attention and obey speed limits set with an eye toward making it easier for drivers to stay within their lanes. If evidence shows that the man behind the wheel of the ambulance became distracted or had been speeding, he could be liable for settling a wrongful death claim filed by the dead patient's family.
The medical transport company that owned the ambulance and employed the driver could also bear liability for the tragedy. Did the company provide adequate training? Did it err in hiring a person with a questionable driving record? Did it send out a medical crew in a vehicle that was poorly maintained and only rarely underwent inspections for safety?
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the family of the Covington woman who lost her life.