ambulance wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
A Rowan County ambulance driver has been charged after causing a wreck that totaled a pickup, heavily damaged the ambulance and sent three people, including the ambulance driver, to the hospital, the N.C. Highway Patrol said.
Trooper Eric Perdue said Rowan EMS David Bent was driving a Rowan County EMS ambulance west on N.C. 153 just outside Landis around 2:45 p.m. when he came upon two pickups waiting to turn left onto Cannon Farm Road.
Bent, of 44046 Woodhurst Road, New London, failed to slow down and rear-ended a 1994 Toyota pickup, pushing it into a 1989 Chevrolet pickup, Perdue said.
The Toyota was totalled, Perdue said. The Chevrolet sustained about $2,000 damage and the ambulance sustained “extensive damage to the front end,” he said.
“In my opinion, I would think it’s totalled,” Perdue said. But he said he wanted to let the county have the ambulance checked out before making a final determination on its damage.
The Toyota driver, Jeffrey McCollum, 17, of 3820 N.C. 152, China Grove, suffered the worst injuries, severe lacerations to his face, Perdue said. The driver of the Chevrolet, Michael Morgan, 16, of 325 E. Taylor St., Landis, complained of pain.
Both were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord.
Bent, the ambulance driver, was treated and released from Rowan Regional Medical Center, where staff members said he suffered only bruising, Perdue said.
Bent has been charged with failure to reduce speed, Perdue said. He was driving 45 mph, the speed limit on the stretch of road where the wreck occurred, the trooper said.
Another EMS worker in the ambulance with Bent was not injured, he said.
There was no patient in the ambulance when the wreck happened.
The Rowan County EMS Web site lists Bent as a part-time emergency medical technician.