ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An ambulette driver who crashed into two utility poles while transporting a patient is now facing criminal charges, including driving while intoxicated, according to police.
Police said Pedro Aponte, of Brooklyn, was not only high but also drunk when he got behind the wheel of an ambulette Monday morning, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
Aponte was taking a 77-year-old dialysis patient from Queens to a treatment center in Nassau County when the ambulette crashed into two utility poles in Roosevelt.
A 911 call first came in about an ambulette striking a pole on East Greenwich Avenue near Nassau Road and then leaving the scene, according to police.
While officers were investigating that incident, a second 911 call came in for an ambulette striking another utility pole about a mile away, police said.
When officers arrived, they found Aponte, 45, on the ground next to the heavily damaged vehicle.
“This guy was carrying a patient,” said Nassau police Detective Vincent Garcia. “It’s a miracle that he wasn’t hurt more. But in this situation, this guy hit a pole. He hit a second pole and a van that was parked at that location. So thankfully there were no further injuries.
A witness, Frederic Thomas, told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff the van nearly hit oncoming traffic after driving away from the first pole strike.
Mannett Jackson said the second pole narrowly missed her car after it was torn down by the ambulette before it crashed into the parked van.
“The ambulette pushed the van off the road into the bushes,” Jackson said. “If it wasn’t for these trees, it would be in the highway.”
Aponte was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pains. He was arraigned from his hospital bed on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident.
The patient he was transporting, who eventually did receive his dialysis, suffered injuries to his ribs and was treated at a nearby hospital.
There has been no comment from Life Care, the Queens-based medical transport company.
“I’m very concerned, because I take care of patients, and to know that we put our lives in the hands of people like that,” Jackson said.