A paramedic and an EMT escaped injury when an ambulance flipped on its side during a motor vehicle accident this morning, prompting quick action from the public, who became the first responders.
Members of the community stepped-in to help the accident victims and lifted two Lifeguard employees from the ambulance.
One man, 37-year-old Adrian Lopez was working nearby at the Tire Depot when he heard the collision. He says he dropped everything he was doing and ran over to help.
"It's just what you do," Lopez said. "Running up, I saw the blue cross on it and knew it was an ambulance."
He said it took about 30 seconds to sprint over and assess the situation. When he first got to the accident, he saw the ambulance turned on its side. He said they were giving thumbs up and okay signs through the windshield.
"At first, they seemed like they were okay, but I think it may have been shock," Lopez said. "Once the shock subsided, they just wanted the hell out of the ambulance."
Lopez said the driver of the ambulance seemed to be more hurt of the two. The driver was buried under various supplies in the emergency vehicle. She was laying hunched. The passenger was hanging, suspended by her seatbelt.
Thirty-seven year old Lopez provided a boost to another man on scene to get on top of the vehicle. It took about a minute to pull the EMS first responders out of the vehicle. Once they were free of the vehicle, Lopez helped the victims down to the ground.
"They didn't weigh anything," Lopez said. "I put my arms up and set them down on the ground. They were as light as a feather."
Lopez said the EMS first responders were more concerned with the other driver and their family. He said the two victims were worried about the woman and four children in the van. The two from Lifeguard Ambulance collapsed on the ground after being rescued from the vehicle.
The woman driving the Green minivan involved in the accident had blood on her face. Four children in the van waited by her side while EMS officials strapped her to a spine board for transport to the hospital.
One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he felt thankful he had the opportunity to help rescue the victims. He was driving down Highway 90 and saw the wreck. In moments, he was on top of the vehicle with another man removing the two victims.
"Truthfully, they reached up and we pulled them up," said the man. "The adrenaline was rushing, I was more concerned with getting them out. "
He said he hoped the victims do well. After he saw the situation was under control, with police, fire and EMS officials on scene, he felt comfortable leaving the scene.
"It kind of felt good to return a favor," he said. "They do more than for the community than what I've done today. The real gratefulness is toward them."
Editor's note: Witnesses to the accident have reported conflicting stories to Milton Police, according to Officer D. Smith. Until the official report is complete, police are not releasing any information.
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Photos by Lynne Hough.