Officials Say Paramedic Fell Asleep, Crashed Ambulance Into Sign and Ended Up in Ditch


Ambulance ends up in ditch at exit ramp of southbound I-35 to westbound Highway 30 at Ames, March 27, 2019. (WHO-HD)

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AMES, Iowa – Story County law enforcement says a paramedic fell asleep at the wheel early Wednesday morning and drove an ambulance off I-35 and into a ditch in Ames.

It happened around 5:30 a.m. as the ambulance from the Cherokee Regional Medical Center was traveling southbound on I-35 and veered off the road, according to Lt. Nicholas Lennie with the Story County Sheriff’s Office. The ambulance hit the 111-B exit sign and ended up in the ditch between the interstate and the exit ramp to westbound Highway 30.

The ambulance was transporting a patient to the Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

The two paramedics and the patient on board suffered minor cuts and bruises and were taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center to be checked out.

Lt. Lennie said the paramedic that was driving believes he fell asleep and that’s what caused the accident. The driver, whose name has not been released yet, will be cited for failure to maintain control.


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