NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Bronx woman is brain dead after the ambulance she was riding in crashed. Now, police say paramedics could be to blame after possible missteps.
CBS2’s Ilana Gold spoke with the victim’s family who wants answers.
“I’m not quite sure what to do,” Jackie Budd said through tears after finding out doctors took her sister Janet Hickey off life support.
The 58-year-old from City Island has been in a coma ever since the ambulance crash on March 4.
“(How do you move forward after something like this?) That’s what I’m not sure about,” Budd said.
The accident happened as paramedics took her to a rehab facility in Westchester County after brain surgery. The ambulance did not have lights and sirens on, but police said the 19-year-old driver somehow lost control, slamming into a pole on Route 9 in Sleepy Hollow.
“She was very excited that she was going to rehab and that she was getting better,” Hickey’s friend Spiros Chagares said.
The impact was so strong Hickey’s family says she has fractures across her spine.
According to police, it’s possible the ambulance crew with SeniorCare EMS didn’t strap her in correctly.
“One of the doctors said in their assessment was that she hit the ceiling of the ambulance with such force,” Budd said.
Investigators tell CBS2 the have questioned the driver and 55-year-old EMS that supervised her in the back of the ambulance that day and still don’t have answers.
“We need to know who is responsible for this,” Budd said.
CBS2 asked an ambulance company spokesperson if the workers involved in the crash were still on the job, but he wouldn’t comment and only said the matter is under investigation.
“All of our employees are subject to rigorous background checks and continuous training to ensure the highest quality of care and safety for our patients and their families,” the statement reads.
The family just wants an explanation and accountability.
“How something like this could have happened, honestly it’s completely unfathomable to me,” Budd said.
Police tell CBS2 the driver and EMT were treated for minor injuries after the crash.
At this point, no one has been charged or arrested. The case is still under investigation.