Petersburg EMT who treated patient during head-on crash: ‘I feel extremely lucky’

Local News

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Southside Virginia Emergency Crew is reminding drivers not to drink and drive this holiday season after one of their ambulances was hit Saturday in a head-on crash.

“Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and it’s known for drunk drivers and reckless behavior,” said Bee Betts, an EMT who was in the back of the ambulance at the time of the crash. “Hopefully, people will be alert for emergency vehicles wherever they are.” 

SVEC said one of their units was hit while “sitting stationary” on a medical call in Petersburg.

The initial reports from SVEC claimed it was a suspected drunk driver, however 8News has learned the person involved is facing reckless driving charges at this time, not DUI charges.

During the time of the crash, the Director of SVEC Edward Bish told 8News two EMT personnel and a patient were inside.

Betts told 8News she and her partner David were loading up a patient on Halifax Street in Petersburg when a man driving in the other direction hit the ambulance head-on.

“I was sitting in the back with a patient and then I heard a loud bang,” Betts recalled. “I was doing some blood work and some other assessments. We were sitting there waiting and we got hit.”

Betts explained that she had never experienced something like she did on Saturday in her more than 30 years as an EMT with Southside Virginia Emergency Services. She told 8News she felt fortunate as she believed things could have been much worse.

“I feel extremely lucky that David and I wasn’t hurt,” Betts said. “The patient was not overly affected by it. I wasn’t having to choose between my partner being hurt and my patient.”

According to Bish, the driver who hit the ambulance was arrested on the scene. The driver is being charged with reckless driving, a suspended license and an outstanding warrant.

Stay with 8News for the full report at 5 p.m.

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