Second EMT in critical condition after ambulance wreck

kterhune@idahostatesman.comOctober 24, 2013 

— Two EMTs are fighting for their lives after the ambulance they were riding in was struck by a car near Indian Valley on Tuesday.

As of Thursday morning, 62-year-old Sandra Sova, of Mesa, and 70-year-old Jonathon Dickinson ,of Council, were both listed in critical condition at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Dickinson had been in serious condition Wednesday before taking a turn for the worse, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The pair was injured in a crash on US Highway 95 as they transported a patient to Weiser Memorial Hospital. The ambulance was headed south with lights and sirens when it was hit head on by a northbound car driven by 36-year-old Samuel McCartney of Twin Falls.

Idaho State Police say McCartney swerved into the southbound lane to avoid another vehicle that had slowed to yield to the ambulance.

Sova and Dickinson were in the back of the ambulance tending to the patient when the collision happened, and were not restrained. They were transported to Saint Alphonsus by air ambulance.

McCartney; his passenger, 36-year-old Heather Hetzel, of Boise; and 66-year-old ambulance driver Charles Penniger, of Council, were all wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, and were taken to Weiser Memorial Hospital, along with the ambulance patient, who was uninjured.

Weiser Memorial Hospital declined to say Thursday whether they had been released from the hospital or provide any information about their conditions.

ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker said McCartney may face charges in the wreck, which is still under investigation.

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