Local News

Man Dies After Stealing, Crashing EMS Unit, Police Say

Posted December 6, 2005 8:44 a.m. EST

— Authorities reported Tuesday morning that a person died when an EMS unit crashed in Raleigh.

Police received a call around 8:30 a.m. about a man showing signs of a stroke at the Circle K on 1300 East Millbrook Road. According to police, the man, who was later identified as Blair Leroy Coffman Jr, 27, of Largo, Fla., became combative when an EMS crew arrived. When EMS personnel got out of the ambulance, the man then got inside and drove off.

"I came outside and heard yelling, which was the EMS guys, hollering at the guy to get out of the [vehicle]. I saw the EMS guy run around the other side of the truck to try to get in and then saw the gentleman take off with the ambulance through the parking lot," eyewitness Chuck Powell said.

Shortly afterward, police said Coffman crashed the ambulance at an embankment near the intersection of

Falls of Neuse Roads and Bland Road


Police said Coffman died at the scene of the accident. However, it was still not known late Tuesday whether he died from injuries sustained in the accident.

None of the rescue workers were injured in the incident. There was no one in the ambulance at the time it was stolen.

Police said Coffman had reportedly been in Raleigh for about a week.