Sep. 2–An EMSA ambulance taking a 2-year-old girl to a Tulsa hospital after she nearly drowned was hit by another vehicle at an intersection, police said.

Sgt. Ted Umbarger said paramedics and police responded about 2:30 p.m. to an apartment complex at 8024 E. Fourth Place, where the girl had apparently been under water for about three minutes.

Umbarger said relatives were cleaning an apartment at the complex and several of their children were at its pool without supervision. When the children began returning to the apartment, adults realized the girl wasn’t with them, he said.

An uncle of the child began CPR and was able to get shallow breaths from the child before paramedics arrived and continued life-saving efforts, Umbarger said.

Sgt. Doug Brown said the ambulance, with its flashing lights on and sirens blaring, was taking the girl to St. Francis Hospital when it was struck by a vehicle that apparently failed to yield to the ambulance at a stop light in the 5500 block of South Yale Avenue.

Brown said the driver of the vehicle had pulled around another automobile that had stopped for the ambulance.

Tina Wells, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, said a paramedic was in the back of the ambulance, providing advanced life support to the girl, when the accident happened. Another ambulance arrived within two minutes to take the girl — who did not appear to have been injured in the crash — to St. Francis, where she was listed in serious condition.

Another EMSA unit came out to evaluate the motorist and the paramedics, none of whom were hurt, she said.

“This is another incident of not yielding to emergency vehicles,” Wells said. “It’s the law that drivers are required to yield to an emergency vehicle when its lights and sirens are activated. Vehicles are required by law to yield, pull to the right and stop.”

EMSA drivers normally have at least one close call a week because drivers do not yield, she said.


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