A firetruck responding to a car crash call in Hunterdon County illegally passed an ambulance headed to the same wreck, forcing the ambulance into a ditch when the truck swerved to avoid an oncoming car, an ambulance official said.
Now the president of the Quakertown Volunteer EMS is calling two members of his squad "heroes" after the accident involving a Quakertown ambulance and a Quakertown Fire Company truck, both of which were responding to a one-car crash on Sidney Road.
He credited their training and quick response for preventing the accident from becoming "what could have been a huge disaster."
Peter Colby, 27, was driving and Laurie Luster was a passenger in the ambulance shortly after midnight Saturday when "they were illegally passed (by the fire truck) in a no-passing zone on Quakertown Road," president David Evans said.
Colby and Luster are employees of the Quakertown squad.
"To avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming car, the fire truck forced the... ambulance off the road into a ditch. The oncoming car was also forced off the road," Evans said
It is fortunate that the ambulance landed in the ditch, because it kept the rig from flipping over and prevented it from hitting a nearby utility pole, he said.
Kenneth Mandoli, Franklin Township director of public safety, said he couldn't release any information about the accident because it remains under investigation. He said his force is doing a probe, taking statements from about 14 people.
Evans said the oncoming car was driven by a Quakertown Fire volunteer, who was driving to the firehouse to respond to the call. Witnessing the accident was a township employee driving behind the ambulance, Evans said. "He saw everything."