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Driver cited after ambulance flips on I-85 in Durham

Posted September 18, 2012

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— An ambulance hydroplaned during heavy rain Tuesday afternoon, slammed into a guardrail and eventually flipped onto its side in a crash that shut down southbound Interstate 85 in Durham for about an hour.

The four occupants of the ambulance – two EMTs, a patient and the patient's relative – were taken to Duke University Hospital. The extent of their injuries and their conditions were not released.

The driver, Jonathan Douglas Elliott, will be cited for exceeding safe speed for conditions once he is released from the hospital, authorities said.

The ambulance was not in emergency mode when it crashed, which means it was required to obey all traffic laws.

The crash happened about 2:45 p.m. near the Red Mill Road exit. No other vehicles were involved.


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  • jjsmith1973 Sep 19, 2012

    Funny, because the 4 young kids about a week ago that were in an SUV accident, where they rolled the SUV and the cops stated speed and alcohol weren't factors. The you driver over correct because of inexperience got charged with reckless driving. This driver didn't. Oh and someone should point out the last part to cops about not being in emergency mode which means they have to obey the traffic laws like anyone else

  • dleven04 Sep 18, 2012

    I can confirm the unconfirmed report of an overturned ambulance. I drove through the scene as a Durham County Sheriff's deputy arrived. The ambulance was from Bertie Ambulance Services which has a location in Henderson. Makes sense the vehicle was southbound. The driver nosed the vehicle into the median and laid it down on its left side.

    I pray that everyone is ok or will be.