One woman is dead and several others are seriously injured after a crash involving an ambulance and a pickup truck in Champaign County Wednesday.
The crash happened around 3:00 p.m. on U.S. Highway 36 at Parkview Road, and two medical helicopters were called to the scene.
The coroner pronounced 61-year-old Debra Lock of Kenton dead at the scene.
The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office released information to 2 NEWS saying the ambulance stopped at a stop sign and then failed to yield the right of way to the pickup truck, which was traveling eastbound on U.S. 36.
The woman who died was in the front passenger seat of the ambulance, which was privately operated by MedCare, according to Lt. Matt Bebout of the Mechanicsburg Fire Department.
The driver of the pickup truck has been identified as 21-year-old Matthew Wallen of St. Paris, and the driver of the EMS vehicle was 23-year-old Jeremy Fetters of Plain City, according to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Lt. Bebout, both drivers and two other passengers in the EMS vehicle were flown to Miami Valley Hospital in serious or critical condition.
“I immediately just asked were I was needed,” said Michelle Morgan, who lives in the neighborhood where the crash happened. “Then they assigned me a spot, and I just went and helped as much as I could.”
Morgan said she heard a loud boom when the crash happened. As a registered nurse, she went down the street to see what she could do to help.
“When something like that happens, and I know that I don’t see a squad there yet, and somebody needs my help, I want to be there to help them,” Morgan said.
Morgan and other neighbors told 2 NEWS they’re concerned about safety at the intersection after seeing several other crashes.
“We sit out here on our front porch a lot, and you do see some things,” said Cheryl Rexroth, who also lives near the intersection. “You’re taking chances when you’re not obeying the laws, as far as I’m concerned.”
Rexroth said she has seen many drivers speeding through the area or not stopping completely at the stop signs on Parkview Road at U.S. 36. She and other neighbors said they’re also concerned about visibility near a hillcrest on U.S. 36 just east of Parkview Road.
“When I take off at that stop sign down there, I gun it,” Morgan said. “Because I’m so afraid somebody’s going to come flying up over that hill, and they’re going to hit me because I didn’t get out of the way fast enough.”
While it’s not clear if any changes could have prevented this crash, neighbors like Morgan suggest adding more signage in the area warning of the intersection. She and others said they also hope to see drivers be more cautious.
“This is a major route for schools, school buses, kids, kids in cars, teachers going to and from school,” Rexroth said. “So it’s a lot more traffic here than it was when we moved in here 20 plus years ago.”
A utility pole was also struck in the crash. According to Lt. Bebout, crews from Pioneer Electric have been working to repair that pole and make sure there won’t be any issues.