ADAMS COUNTY, Idaho -- U.S. Highway 95 north of Cambridge was shut down for around five hours Tuesday afternoon after a crash between a car and an ambulance.
Idaho State Police say 36-year-old Samuel McCartney of Twin Falls was northbound in a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse when he braked and swerved into the southbound lane of traffic to avoid hitting a vehicle that was yielding to an ambulance from Council that was transporting a patient to a hospital in Weiser. The Eclipse hit the ambulance head-on.
The Council Ambulance was driven by 66-year-old Charles Penninger of Council.
Police say that two Council EMTs, Sandra Sova and Jonathon Dickinson, were assisting a patient in the back of the ambulance and were unsecured. Both were injured in the crash and flown by air ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Sova was listed in critical condition, while Dickinson is in serious condition.
The driver of the ambulance, Penninger, was also taken to a hospital to get checked out. Police say he was wearing a seatbelt.
McCartney and his passenger, 37-year-old Heather Hetzel of Boise, were taken by personal vehicle to Weiser Memorial Hospital. Police say the air bags did deploy in their car and both were wearing seatbelts.
One witness to the accident, Guenter de Vincent told KTVB about what he saw.
He says that he pulled to the right for the ambulance, when the white car behind him hit the back wheel of his car, and was thrown back into the middle of the road where it hit the ambulance.
He then goes on to say that he went over to the white car first to make sure the occupants were OK.
I opened the door and the car was smoking, and the woman was sitting there in front of the airbag, he said. She was pretty much aware; I think the driver was passed out.
He said he called 911 and walked over to the ambulance to make sure everyone was OK; de Vincent also added that it took around 10 minutes for first responders to get to the scene.
Idaho State Police say the crash is still under investigation.