9 Investigates: Conflicting statements about crash involving ambulance

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — 9 Investigates uncovered new, conflicting statements from members of an ambulance crew after their rig was hit at a busy Seminole County intersection by another car, while they had a patient in the back.

That patient died days after the November crash, for reasons unrelated to the accident.

Since then, investigative reporter Karla Ray has been working to get answers about why the ambulance had been running with lights and sirens in the first place.

The driver who hit the American Ambulance had been traveling through a green light, but was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

A newly released traffic homicide report shows 54-year-old Thomas Spivey, the patient in the back of the ambulance had not been injured as a result of the crash, and died of an accidental opioid overdose days after the crash.
He was being taken to a hospice center when the crash happened.

But state law only allows medical vehicles to use flashing red lights to pass through traffic signals during an emergency.

The report reveals the ambulance driver claimed his partner had “alerted him that the patient’s condition was worsening, so he chose to activate his emergency equipment and break the intersection.”

That partner, though, claims “he did not specifically tell him they needed to drive in emergency mode.”

American Ambulance officials won’t say what they consider to be an emergency.

The report shows “prior to the collision the patient’s long-term condition was expected to be terminal, but his condition at the time was not believed to be life-threatening.”

9 Investigates reached out to the ambulance driver and the company’s risk manager today, but they haven’t returned our calls.