2005-06-24 / Front Page

Woman Hurt In Collision With First Response Ambulance

Ramirez’ Mazda (foreground) rests on the sidewalk after a collision with a First Response ambulance (background).
Ramirez’ Mazda (foreground) rests on the sidewalk after a collision with a First Response ambulance (background). A woman was injured last week when a First Response ambulance on-call went through a red light and smashed into her car at a Rockaway Freeway intersection, The Wave has learned.

The driver of the ambulance was headed west on the freeway last Monday afternoon – lights and sirens blaring – and was responding to a call involving a person with difficulty breathing when the accident occurred, police said.

The ambulance hit the passenger side of a black, four-door Mazda driven by Jessenia Ramirez, 24, of Hartford, Connecticut. The impact snapped the car’s front right axle, shattered its windshield and sent it careening onto the sidewalk.

Ramirez suffered an injury to her shoulder and was transported by EMS to Peninsula Hospital Center. She could not be reached for comment.

A frustrated first-responder employed by the city told The Wave that the ambulance driver, 23-year-old Aram Markosyan, should have exercised more care when speeding through a red light on a notoriously dangerous roadway with many visual barriers.

Emergency vehicles of all kinds are commonly seen under lights and siren responding to emergencies throughout the peninsula. Private ambulances draw the ire of some city rescue workers, who say they fear serious accidents will occur.

City-owned vehicles, however, are not immune to similar accidents. An FDNY truck responding to a call Tuesday night hit and seriously injured a motorcyclist in Brooklyn, according to published reports.

The Vehicle and Traffic Law states that “the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right of way” to “authorized emergency vehicles” displaying lights and sirens. It also states that the drivers of emergency vehicles have the “duty to drive with reasonable care for all persons using the highway.”

First Response is a basic life support ambulance service based in Inwood. A company representative classified Ramirez’ injuries as “minor” and would not comment further.

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