Ohio ambulance hits truck, killing driver, patient

March 14, 2012 - 7:35 PM
Ambulance Crash-Two Dead

Ohio Highway Patrol investigates the scene of a fatal two-vehicle crash on Hospital Road at the intersection of Delano Road near Chillicothe, Ohio, Wednesday, March 14, 2012. The driver and passenger of the ambulance died in the crash. (AP Photo/Chillicothe Gazette, Frank Robertson)

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — An ambulance rear-ended a flatbed truck carrying lumber near an Ohio hospital Wednesday, killing the ambulance driver and the patient, who was being taken to a doctor's appointment, authorities said.

The truck had stopped to turn onto a roadway when it was struck by the ambulance shortly before 10 a.m. outside Chillicothe, according to the State Highway Patrol said. Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said it's not clear why the ambulance hit the truck.

Ambulance driver Cody A. King, 21, of Chillicothe, and patient Barbara L. McWhorter, 72, also of Chillicothe, died at the scene, the patrol said in a statement.

The driver of the lumber truck, Carl H. Dearth, 50, of Frankfort, was transported to Adena Medical Center for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to the patrol.

McWhorter was bound to a wheelchair when the crashed occurred, and the rear of the truck smashed through the ambulance windshield, WBNS-TV reported.

The lumber on the back of Dearth's truck crashed through the ambulance's windshield and halfway through the vehicle, hitting King and McWhorter in the head, the Chillicothe Gazette reported.

Patrol Sgt. Kari Riebesell told the newspaper that the patient was being taken to a doctor's appointment and the ambulance wasn't in emergency mode at the time.

Portsmouth-based Life Ambulance said the vehicle involved in the crash was part of its fleet, but the company declined to comment further.

The crash remains under investigation, the patrol said.