First responders mourn attendant's death in ambulance crash

LAS VEGAS - A whole community of first responders is mourning the deaths of an attendant identified as 57-year-old Garry John and a patient, both killed in an overnight rollover crash.

The American Medical Response van they were in was transporting the patient, when troopers say the driver lost control on a slick ramp off the I-15 and the 215 interchange just before midnight. That driver is the lone survivor.

 An investigation is now underway.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is looking at dash cam video that might shed some light into the final moments. 

Meanwhile, co-workers at AMR described Garry John as quiet, but very friendly.

The flag outside their building is at half staff and grieving counselors spent the day inside as employees walked in to learn they'll never see him again.

It's the first line of duty death for this division of  AMR in at least 25 years.

"All of us got into this business to help. It hits home when it's one of your own," said Scott White, regional director, American Medical Response.

John, 57, a four-year employee was sitting next to a patient in the back of the AMR van when it rolled over killing both of them late Monday night.

Troopers say the driver, who has not yet been identified, went down a slick ramp and took a deadly spin, as he got off the I-15 to get on the 215, westbound. 

"The roadway was wet, there was rain and it was in a curve so there are many things that could've happened," said NHP Tropper Jason Buratczuk.

At 11:29 in the evening, the van left a hospital for a nursing facility during a non-emergency transport. Then, at 11:48 p.m.

"We heard a mayday call over the radio," White said.

"When responders respond to these calls we never know what we're going to get and we roll up to this one and it's a patient and another first responder, so it truly hits home," Buratczuk said.

The victims received a line of duty escort to the coroner's office. AMR says they did have their seatbelts on at the time of the crash. 

"The patient is restrained to the gurney with seatbelts and our attendant has a seatbelt on. I was personally at the scene this morning and our attendant did have that restraint system on," White said.

AMR said, vans are inspected routinely and that drivers all go through training for situations like this one. They're sending their condolences to the families that are now left to mourn. 

The patient has not been identified yet.  As for the driver, he's been released from the hospital. AMR said, they are not ready to release his name or specifics about his driving record, although they did say he's been an employee since Dec. 2016.

 


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