PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. — A driver struck by an ambulance responding to a call died Thursday, police said.
Ira G. Johns, 63, of Pembroke Pines, died from injuries suffered in a crash that happened about 10 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Pines Boulevard and University Drive, said Police Sgt. Michael Pazienza.
“I held him till he died,” said Johns’ partner of 20 years, Jeanne Lukens, 59, who visited him after the crash at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.
A Pembroke Pines Fire-Rescue ambulance had its lights and siren on as it headed west on Pines Boulevard, police said. As it approached Northwest 78th Terrace, Johns, who had been headed east on Pines Boulevard, made a U-turn in his white Ford Mustang. He turned in front of the ambulance, police said.
The ambulance driver, Larry Shahboz, tried to avoid Johns by swerving. But the ambulance collided with the passenger side of the Mustang, police said.
Pembroke Pines Fire-Rescue Chief John Picarello said Shahboz and two other rescue workers got out of the ambulance and treated Johns before other paramedics arrived. Johns was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Thursday. The ambulance personnel were not hurt.
Picarello said Shahboz, with the department 18 years, was shaken. “He told me it was his first accident,” Picarello said.
The crash was still under investigation Thursday.
Staff Researcher Gilberto Medina contributed to this report.