PREVIOUS STORY: The EMT driver of a fatal crash has been placed on paid leave.
A crash on Friday involving a Pucketts EMS ambulance killed 45-year old Tony Patterson while he was being transported by the ambulance.
Pucketts EMS also said they continue to express its deepest sympathy to the family of Patterson and their thoughts are also with their employees who were injured.
The driver, 21-year-old Crystin Keys, has been charged in the crash.
Keys' attorney McCracken Poston said in a release to Channel 3, Keys is expected to turn herself in Wednesday morning at the Floyd County Jail.
McCracken said his client is five weeks pregnant and injured from the crash.
Poston said it's anticipated that Keys will face charges of Failure to Maintain Lane and Vehicular Homicide in the 2nd Degree.
Here is the entire statement from McCracken Poston:
PREVIOUS STORY: We're learning more about the hours leading up to an ambulance crash that killed a Lafayette man, and the training the driver received. Fifty-five year-old, Tony Patterson was killed Friday morning when a Puckett EMS ambulance left the road and overturned. The driver told police she fell asleep while transporting Patterson to a local hospital.
Channel 3 spent the day looking into Puckett’s policies and what led to the crash.
The ambulance service said the driver, a 21 year-old from Chattanooga, was working a 12-hour shift when the crash happened. It's not the first time a Puckett ambulance has crashed in our area. One woman is hoping this latest crash will lead to policy change.
“I was at a light, sitting and waiting. Next thing I know I was rear-ended, pushed into the intersection and hit a second time. *Who hit you?* It was Puckett EMS that hit me,” Samantha Miller told Channel 3.
It's been a year and half since Samantha Miller was involved in a serious accident involving an ambulance owned by Puckett EMS. She said she was on her way home from Children's Hospital with her son, when the ambulance hit her from behind. “Neck injury, back injury, pulled muscle in my arm because I swung, bruised ribs.”
Memories of that day came back when Miller and her husband heard about last week's fatal accident involving the same company. “Check their workers better. Especially if she was falling asleep. She already said she was tired.”
The 21 year-old driver told Rome Police she was feeling tired and does not remember driving off the road, hitting two trees and flipping over. “Any type of commercial driver, whether it be ambulance, fire, whatever. They should be regulated for how long they should drive. At any time they say they are tired they need someone else be there for them and take over,” said Jon Miller, Samantha’s husband.
The company would not release data on the number of crashes it has been involved in or the driver's history. In a statement, a spokesperson said all drivers are required to complete 8 hours of emergency vehicle training, be supervised in the field for 48 hours and be recertified each year. She added that between on call shifts ambulance crews are allowed to return to the station to rest.
The Millers want more to be done. “Everyone who is out there that works so many tremendous hours, they need to be able to cut them back, or have somebody there to back them up.”
The Puckett spokesperson said the company monitors call volume to schedule ambulance shifts. The driver involved in last week's crash has not been formally charged with a crime, but Rome Police said their investigation continues.