Accident involving police cruiser, ambulance using sirens is probed

March 28, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Traffic investigators were trying to determine yesterday who was at fault Thursday night when a police cruiser speeding to an emergency crashed into an ambulance that was carrying a patient.

Both vehicles were severely damaged, but police said the occupants were not seriously injured. A 17-year-old high school student who was riding with paramedics as part of a school project was one of the injured.

The accident occurred about 10: 15 p.m. at Echodale and Walther avenues in Northeast Baltimore. Police said the 1995 Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser was going east on Echodale Avenue when it collided with a 1997 Ford ambulance being driven south on Walther Avenue.

Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a police spokeswoman, said witnesses told investigators that the ambulance driver had the red light. Both vehicles had their lights and sirens activated.

Emergency vehicles going to a call are allowed to go through red lights and stop signs, but only after coming to a stop. Cook-Hayes said police are trying to determine whether proper procedures were followed.

The officer was identified as Randy Wayne Blades Sr., 42, a 19-year veteran assigned to the Northeastern District. He was treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released early yesterday.

The ambulance driver was identified as Paramedic Sterling Henry Finch, 39, who was treated at Mercy Hospital with back, neck and chest injuries. A firefighter who was in the ambulance, Duane Corvette Bridges, 41, suffered injuries to his left shoulder and side.

The patient was identified as Sodra Synder, 44, of the 3500 block of E. Northern Parkway. Police were unable to say what she was originally being treated for or what injuries she suffered in the accident.

Police identified the passenger as Tangelia Robinson, 17, of the 1700 block of N. Montford Ave. She suffered minor injuries to her face, head and neck.

Pub Date: 3/28/98

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