On Jan. 18, an Allina Health ambulance hit an SUV head-on in Buffalo Township. A 43-year-old emergency medical technician was driving the ambulance while a 30-year-old paramedic was in the passenger seat. They were transporting a 35-year-old woman to Allina Hospital at the time of the accident with the SUV, which was being driven by a 51-year-old woman.
The woman who was being transported in the ambulance was not hurt and made the 911 call to report the accident. When emergency crews arrived, she was transported in another ambulance. The three other people who were involved in the crash suffered serious injuries. The paramedic was taken to North Memorial Hospital alongside the SUV driver, and both were still in critical condition at the time of the report. The president of Allina Health EMS stated that the paramedic is in ICU on a ventilator and intubated.
The ambulance driver was taken to Allina Hospital and released two days later. The Allina Health EMS president posted on Facebook that the driver suffered major bilateral orthopedic injuries in his lower extremities. He will have to undergo corrective surgery and is expected to be in a wheelchair for as long as three months.
A Wright County Sheriff's Office lieutenant says that this accident was unusual considering the people involved. He believes that weather was a factor because road conditions were really bad, with about 1.5 inches of snow on the ground. However, he would not comment on whether alcohol may have played a role. The GPS on the ambulance was to be checked for clues as to what caused the accident.
Because the emergency medical technician and paramedic suffered work accident injuries, they are eligible to file a claim with workers' compensation insurance. This is meant to provide injured employees with medical care and income that is lost during the employees' recovery. If a claim is denied for any reason, it may be necessary to address the claim in court.
Source: CBS Minnesota, "2 Ambulance Workers Seriously Injured In Buffalo Crash", Kate Raddatz, January 20, 2014