Charges filed against Arundel woman who allegedly ran unlicensed ambulance Vehicle transporting patient broke down, says attorney general

December 18, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

The last name of a woman who hired Elgin Ambulance to transport her terminally ill father from Washington Dulles International Airport to Calvert County was misspelled in a report in the Wednesday edition of The Sun in Anne Arundel County. Her last name is Dzurec.

The Sun regrets the error.

The Maryland attorney general has filed charges against a southern Anne Arundel County woman who allegedly operated an unlicensed ambulance that broke down while transporting a terminally ill man to his daughter's home in Calvert County.

Sylvia Wayson Butler, 58, owner of Elgin Ambulance, was charged in District Court in Anne Arundel County with unfair business practices and operating an unlicensed ambulance. Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. filed the charges last week and announced them yesterday.


Curran called the man's experience "a nightmare" and said, "The reason the state requires ambulances to be licensed is to prevent these types of harrowing situations."

A man who answered the phone last night at the Elgin offices in the 100 block of Jewell Ave. in Dunkirk hung up twice on reporters who called for comment.

Donald Williams, 85, the patient, died three days after the trip from Washington Dulles International Airport to his daughter's home in Huntingtown. The daughter, Susan Dzurac, said her father's death was not related to the trip.

Dzurac, 44, was bringing her father, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and his wife to her home from San Diego Sept. 12 and had hired Elgin to transport him from the airport in Northern Virginia to her home for $140 and $4 a mile, according to a statement from Curran's office.

The ambulance arrived an hour late with a leaky radiator and broke down 5 miles from the airport without a radio or cellular phone to call for help. When Butler and a man with her who was identified as a nursing instructor tried to move Williams to Dzurac's station wagon, they banged his head on the tailgate, the statement said.

When they got to Calvert County, neighbors helped her get her father into the house, where he remained until he died, Dzurac said. She said she has not heard from Butler since then.

"She has never contacted us to explain sympathy, explanation, nothing," she said, adding that Butler did not send a bill.

Dzurac complained to Cheryl Bowen, the supervisor of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services' Ambulance Licensing Section, who contacted the attorney general's office.

An investigation revealed that Elgin hadn't had a state ambulance operation license since December 1996, although it had continued to advertise in two 1997-1998 phone books. Butler could face a $1,000 fine if convicted.

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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