UPDATE: GSP charges driver with DUI in crash with ambulance - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: GSP charges driver with DUI in crash with ambulance

Posted: Updated:
Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White. Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White.
Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White. Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White.
Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White. Photo by WRCB photojournalist Harrison White.
WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: New details have emerged from the Wednesday night crash involving an ambulance and a pickup truck.

Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Tommy Bonaparte tells Channel 3 that the driver of a 2007 Tacoma, John Nathan Currin Valdez, was alone in his car traveling west down Lafayette Road.

Valdez crossed over the center lane, struck the ambulance, forcing the ambulance off the roadway where it overturned.

GSP says that Valdez is at fault in the crash, and was charged with DUI following the crash.


PREVIOUS STORY: It's not clear what caused a crash involving a North Georgia ambulance and a pickup truck Wednesday night.

The Georgia State Patrol is being tight-lipped about the crash, not releasing any information about who was on board the ambulance or what caused it to collide with a pickup truck.

Representatives from the ambulance service have confirmed there were no patients in the ambulance during the crash. The ambulance was returning from a call. 

One man who witnessed the crash said he hopes it will serve as a warning to other drivers in the area.

Lamar Sloan stood on his porch, overlooking Lafayette Road, watching cars drive by. He said he's concerned about the safety of the drivers passing through.

"People have gotten more careless on this road than they used to be," Sloan said.

It's a thought that echoes in his mind after he witnessed the wreck in front of his home Wednesday night.

"About the time I looked up then, looking back that way, dust," recalled Sloan, "You couldn't really tell what happened. Dust was just going every which way."

Fresh tire marks in the road show where the crash happened. Broken glass and debris lay in a nearby ditch.

According to the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, the crash between an ambulance, owned by Hamilton Emergency Medical Services, and a pickup truck happened around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash and has not released any details, only saying there were no injuries.

The ambulance service is waiting to comment about who was on board the ambulance until GSP releases its findings.

Sloan said he hopes everyone involved is okay and wants to remind drivers to be more cautious.

"I sit out here every evening and I mean, the faster you are the more, you know, eventually somebody's going to lose control of the vehicle," urged Sloan.

Representatives from the ambulance service said a replacement ambulance is in service until the damaged ambulance can be replaced.

GSP told Channel 3 a preliminary report was coming late Thursday afternoon that would answer our questions.


PREVIOUS STORY:  Lafayette Road has now reopened. According to officers on the scene, there were no injuries. A pickup truck was also involved in the crash. That vehicle has minor damage. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Georgia State Patrol and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office are responding to an ambulance crash in Rocky Face Wednesday night.

It happened around 9:00 p.m. in the 300 block of Lafayette Road.

Details of how the crash happened have not been released.

We have not confirmed if any patients were being transported during the crash or if anyone was injured.

Our crew at the scene says two ambulances left the crash site and a tow truck has arrived to remove the ambulance.

Deputies have closed a portion of Lafayette Road while crews work to clean up the crash.

The road is expected to reopen shortly after 11:00 p.m.

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