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Rescue Vehicle has Tough Times

MADISON, Wis. -- A vehicle dedicated to saving lives seems intent on ending its own.

After yet another mishap two weeks ago, Dells-Delton Emergency Medical Service members have decided that its newest ambulance, bought last fall, has a death wish.

The vehicle will need to be gutted, EMS Director Janene Clark said, after a deer was thrown through its windows on June 6. Then on the next day, the vehicle burst into flames.

The ambulance was driving south on Highway A, with a patient, and a sheriff's squad was traveling north. A deer was in between the two.

"Our ambulance was going to miss the deer, but the Sauk County squad didn't see it," Clark said. "Their cars have those grills on the front, and it threw the deer through the driver's window, and all of its insides went straight through and blew out the other window. The whole insides, including the driver, were covered with guts and glass shards. It was horrible."

The driver had minor cuts to his left arm and the side of his face, but no serious injuries. The patient was also in good condition, Clark said.

"It gets worse," she said. "We had it outside, because the smell was so god-awful, but then on Sunday night's storm, the rain filled up a light fixture and it burst into flames."

The rain created a short in the electrical panel, located in the back of the ambulance, which is now almost entirely black from fire damage.

Since the service bought the vehicle last fall, it has been involved two other crashes, including one where another vehicle ran into it while it was stopped in a parking lot.

When the service gets the ambulance back in working order, Clark said the plan is to change its number from 805 to 807, since the numerals in 805 add up to the unlucky 13.

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