EMT in critical condition after car hits ambulance

October 23, 2013 

Correction: Jonathon Dickinson is 70 years old. A release from the Idaho State Police initially gave the wrong age.

Multiple people were injured Tuesday afternoon when a passenger car and an ambulance collided on US Highway 95 near Indian Valley.

The ambulance, driven by 66-year-old Charles Penniger of Council, was headed south transporting a patient to Weiser Memorial Hospital when the wreck happened at 1:19 p.m.

Samuel McCartney, 36, of Twin Falls, was driving north when he braked and swerved into the southbound lane to avoid a vehicle that had slowed to yield to the emergency vehicle. McCartney’s car struck the oncoming ambulance head on, according to Idaho State Police.

EMTs Sandra Sova, 62, and Jonathon Dickinson, 70, had been tending to the patient in the back of the ambulance when the wreck happened, and they were not wearing seatbelts. Both were airlifted to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Penniger and the patient he was transporting were both taken to Weiser Memorial Hospital. McCartney and his passenger, 37-year-old Heather Hetzel of Boise, traveled to Weiser Memorial Hospital in a personal vehicle.

Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said the patient was not injured in the wreck.

Police said that airbags deployed in both the car and the ambulance. All occupants were restrained, with the exception of the two EMTs.

Wednesday morning, Dickinson was listed in serious condition, and Sova was in critical condition.

The highway was closed in both directions for about five hours. Baker said McCartney may face charges in the crash, which is still under investigation.

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