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November 15, 2018

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Company IDs ambulance tech killed with patient in crash

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Wade Vandervort

Scott White, Regional Director for AMR and Wedic West, listens as reporters ask for details on an ambulance accident that caused the death of an AMR team member and a patient, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018.

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 | 9:39 a.m.

AMR Crash Kills Two

An AMR team member stands by during a press briefing Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 held to discuss details of an accident that caused the death of an AMR team member and a patient Monday night. Launch slideshow »

An ambulance technician killed with a patient late Monday when the vehicle lost control and rolled off the highway was identified today as Garry John, 57.

The patient has not yet been identified.

The crash happened about 11:50 p.m. on the 215 Beltway as the American Medical Response ambulance was transporting the patient from a hospital to a nursing facility, officials said. The ambulance was not on an emergency run.

“Garry, he’s very quiet but very personable, too,” Scott White, regional director for AMR and parent company Medic West, said during a briefing at the company’s southwest valley headquarters. It is an “extremely sad day for us today,” he said.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating whether the rainy conditions and slick pavement played a role in the crash, Trooper Jason Buratczuk said. Dash cam footage from the vehicle will also be used to “piece this crash together,” he said.

The ambulance driver, who suffered minor injuries, sent two calls for help over the radio about 20 minutes after leaving the hospital, Buratczuk said. The vehicle was found on a rocky embankment along the westbound beltway near Interstate 15, he said.

John, who was wearing a seatbelt, and the patient, who was strapped to a gurney, died at the scene, White said.

Metro Police, Highway Patrol and AMR vehicles escorted John’s body to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, where officers and medics saluted his flag-draped gurney.

White said John was the first AMR Southern Nevada member killed in the line of duty in at least 25 years. He had been with the company for four years.

White said “words can’t express how we feel” about having a patient on an ambulance killed in a crash. “We are definitely shaken up,” he said.

Ambulance operators go through stringent classroom and on-the-road driving training, White said.

“We train how to operate the ambulance safely — how to maneuver the ambulance safely through neighborhoods, understanding the dimensions of the vehicle,” he said.