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Ambulance crash cause determined

Police: DriverâEUR(TM)s âEUR~medical emergencyâEUR(TM) led to accident

Police: DriverâEUR(TM)s âEUR~medical emergencyâEUR(TM) led to accident

April 23, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A fatal November ambulance crash in Howard County that claimed the life of local ambulance driver Jeanette Roseberry and a local patient's unborn child was caused when Roseberry suffered a "medical emergency" and lost control of the ambulance, Maryland State Police Sgt. Thornnie Rouse announced Friday in a written release.

Rouse, who said the state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section performed a several-month investigation into the Nov. 18 crash on Interstate 70, could not say what type of "medical emergency" Roseberry, a 27-year-old Fairplay woman, had.

Roseberry was driving a Mid-Maryland Medical Transport ambulance east on I-70, west of St. John's Lane, when it traveled through the center grass median and collided with a flatbed tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes of the interstate, police have said. Robin A. Banfe, a nurse riding in the back of the ambulance, was thrown from the vehicle upon impact. The pregnant patient, Maria M. Williams, lost her baby as a result of the crash. Roseberry was pronounced dead at the scene.

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"There is no evidence that the ambulance was mechanically defective prior to the crash," Rouse said in the release.

According to witnesses, there was no indication Roseberry applied the brakes before the ambulance crossed the median.

Roseberry was transporting Williams from Washington County Hospital to a medical center in Baltimore. Williams, then 22; paramedic John H. Bagley Jr. of Hagerstown; and Banfe, then 31, of Smithsburg, all were transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center following the accident with serious injuries.

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

Neither Clark nor Canter were seriously injured, police said.

Rouse said investigators conducted inspections on the two trucks involved in the accident and found no deficiencies.

Roseberry was a member of the Williamsport Volunteer Ambulance Service Inc., Deputy Chief Tom Anderson has said. Anderson has said Roseberry had been a certified emergency medical technician with the volunteer service for at least five years.

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