'A paramedic to the bone'

November 20, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD and JULIE E. GREENE

WASHINGTON COUNTY - A "paramedic to the bone," Jeanette Roseberry, an ambulance driver killed while transporting a pregnant woman to a Baltimore hospital Thursday, was remembered by her family as "loving, sensitive," her grandmother, Shirley Hood, said Friday.

The ambulance's three passengers, one of whom was pregnant, were seriously injured in the 12:40 p.m. crash Thursday on Interstate 70 west of St. John's Lane in Howard County, according to Maryland State Police.

Police identified the injured as patient Maria M. Williams, 22, of the 400 block of Sumans Avenue in Hagerstown; ambulance attendant John H. Bagley Jr., 34, of the 500 block of Church Street in Hagerstown; and nurse Robin A. Banfe, 31, of the 11000 block of Crystal Falls Drive in Smithsburg.


Williams was upgraded from critical to serious condition on Friday night at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said. Banfe and Bagley were in critical condition on Friday night, she said.

Roseberry, 27, of 18036 Herr Lane in the Fairplay area, was transporting Williams in a Mid-Maryland Medical Transport ambulance from Washington County Hospital to a medical center in Baltimore when the crash occurred, police said.

Shirley Hood said that Roseberry worked full time for Mid-Maryland Medical Transport, but volunteered whenever she could at Williamsport Volunteer Ambulance Service Inc., the company at which she started her career upon graduating from Williamsport High School in 1995.

"Not only is the family greatly appreciative of the amount of support and the amount of phone calls that we have received, we're overwhelmed by the fact that Jeanette was seen by so many people as a great upstanding citizen of this community," said Roseberry's uncle, Craig Hood. "That really impresses us."

"She was loving, sensitive, a paramedic to the bone," Shirley Hood said. Shirley Hood said Roseberry was happy being an emergency medical technician and planned to stay one.

But dealing with the tragedies often seen by paramedics was not always easy for Roseberry, Shirley Hood said. She said that Roseberry held a child who had died and got really upset when a firefighter directing traffic was killed.

She had coping mechanisms, however, Shirley Hood said.

"She tried to balance out the good she did with the good she couldn't do," she said.

Roseberry leaves behind a son, Jeffrey Stotler, 4, whom Shirley Hood said was her pride and joy.

Jason Stotler, 27, Roseberry's boyfriend and Jeffrey's father, said he couldn't think Friday.

He said Roseberry was a good mother. He remembers fondly the times he ran in ambulances with his girlfriend of nearly 10 years.

Shirley Hood said Roseberry collected "everything that had a wolf on it" and enjoyed eating at Western Sizzlin.

Craig Hood said Roseberry was into wildlife and loved animals. She had a puppy, a cat and two guinea pigs.

Roseberry played flute for the Williamsport High School Blue Band when she attended the school.

Shirley Hood said Roseberry graduated from Hagerstown Community College's paramedics program.

Roseberry was eastbound on I-70 in a 2001 Ford ambulance when it traveled through the center grass median and collided with a flatbed tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes of the interstate. Banfe, a nurse riding in the back of the Mid-Maryland Medical Transport ambulance, was thrown from the ambulance upon impact.

In an apparent attempt to avoid the collision, the driver of the tractor-trailer, Charles R. Canter of Baltimore, swerved and sideswiped a box truck driven by Jack L. Clark of Salisbury, Pa., police said.

Neither Clark nor Canter were seriously injured, police said.

Maryland State Police spokesman Sgt. Thornnie Rouse said the cause of the accident has not been determined.

Fifteen to 20 Williamsport Volunteer Ambulance Service Inc. members attended a debriefing and crisis intervention counseling Friday night at the ambulance hall, said Eloise Healy, administrator for the ambulance service.

An Emergency Medical Service prayer service will be Monday at 8:30 p.m. at Osborne Funeral Home in Williamsport, according to Healy and the obituary.

Ambulance service members also will serve in the honor guard and serve as pallbearers at Roseberry's funeral, Healy said.

The funeral service will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Manor Church of the Brethren in Tilghmanton in southern Washington County, according to the obituary.

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