Patient Dies in North Georgia NEMT Accident
A patient died when her Coweta ambulance, heading westbound on East Highway 34 near Chatsworth Place, in Coweta, Georgia, apparently traveled onto the north shoulder of the road and hit a ditch with its front, became airborne, rotated clockwise and struck a power pole with its left side, eventually overturning. It is unclear whether the patient, who had been admitted to the hospital earlier due to chest pains, was being taken to a different hospital for further study or as a precaution. The AMR ambulance driver was unavailable for comment due to his own injuries.
NEMT accidents are especially dangerous because, by definition, they involve transporting a medically fragile person. Thankfully NEMT companies are encouraged to train, retain, and background check all of their employees. This training should include driving in unsafe conditions, including driving through rain, snow, and hail.
If the ambulance was actually operating as an emergency vehicle the EMTs could be granted qualified immunity under (O.C.G.A. § 31-11-8).