Heroin addict blacks out while driving, treated by EMS crew he hit

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Fire Department photo section. The driver of a white GMC pickup truck northbound on Schaefer hit an ambulance stopped at a traffic light on southbound Schaefer at Hess about 12:30 p.m. Aug. 14. The unresponsive driver was treated by the Emergency Medical Service people he hit.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Fire Department photo section. The driver of a white GMC pickup truck northbound on Schaefer hit an ambulance stopped at a traffic light on southbound Schaefer at Hess about 12:30 p.m. Aug. 14. The unresponsive driver was treated by the Emergency Medical Service people he hit.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE – A self-professed heroin addict who blacked out and hit an ambulance at 12:31 p.m. Aug. 14 at Schaefer and Hess was treated by the Emergency Medical Services personnel he struck.

The man, a 42-year-old Wayne resident with a suspended license who was driving north on Schaefer near Dix, said he did not remember the crash, and had used intravenous heroin shortly before the crash occurred.

When police arrived, the EMS personnel were already treating the man who hit them in the back of their vehicle.

The driver of the ambulance said they were stopped at a light at southbound Schaefer at Hess when they saw the white truck northbound on Schaefer drive up onto the grassy median on the east side of Schaefer. The truck then returned to the roadway, and traveled across five lanes of traffic to the grassy shoulder on the west side of Schaefer.

The pickup hit a pedestrian signal, knocking it down, after which the EMS personnel said the momentum carried the truck back onto the road and into the ambulance stopped at the light.

The EMS personnel said they took the driver out of the truck and into the ambulance to determine why he was non-responsive. When the driver came to briefly, then lost consciousness again, they administered Narcan, an injected drug used to reverse opium-based drug overdoses. Within a few minutes the driver became alert and answered EMS personnel questions.

The three EMS personnel all said they were experiencing lower back pain after the crash. The two in the front of the ambulance were taken by Dearborn Fire and Rescue personnel to Beaumont – Dearborn for treatment, while the third employee, who was in the rear of the ambulance during the crash, declined transport and treatment.

The pickup was inventoried and towed to impound. Detroit EMS sent a private tow truck to retrieve the damaged ambulance. Detroit EMS dispatched an ambulance to take the pickup truck driver,  who said he was experiencing check and neck pain, to Oakwood Beaumont Hospital, where the driver voluntarily submitted to a blood draw.

The driver was cited for operating under the influence of drugs, for having an improper license plate, and driving with a suspended license.

The Wayne County Road Commission was notified of the broken pedestrian signal.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)

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