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Ambulance collision with vehicles clogs Cumberland Ave.

Four people were hospitalized Friday night after a Rural/Metro ambulance was involved in a collision with two other vehicles on Cumberland Avenue near the University of Tennessee campus, authorities said.

The accident happened about 9:15 p.m. when the ambulance was going westbound on Cumberland and went through the intersection at 16th Street as the traffic light changed, according to Knoxville Police Department Lt. Shawna Williams and the E-911 Center.

A GMC Envoy heading south on 16th Street went into the intersection and struck the ambulance, Williams said. The impact carried the two vehicles across Cumberland Avenue, where they collided with an eastbound Honda Acura, she said.

The two occupants of the Envoy were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, while the two Rural/Metro ambulance workers went to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Williams said.

None of the injuries were believed to be critical, she said, and no patients were in the ambulance when the wreck occurred. The three people in the Acura weren’t taken to a hospital.

The ambulance, which was responding to an emergency call, had its emergency lights and sirens on, she said, and the driver of the Envoy had a green light.

A UT Police Department sergeant witnessed the crash and there may be video footage of the accident, Williams said.

The accident temporarily shut down Cumberland as hundreds of UT sorority members and other students thronged the area.

Traffic was re-routed through the Fort Sanders neighborhood, where several small traffic jams formed and brought traffic to a crawl.

Kellye Crocker, an 18-year-old UT freshman, was with one of several groups that were near the intersection when the crash happened.
“I saw the ambulance going by … and then it’s like the minivan broadsided it,” she said.