When emergency vehicles respond to incidents they move at fast speeds and override the normal rules of the road. In some cases, they are involved in wrecks. We were saddened to read about how a crash with a fire truck on Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk claimed the life of a woman over the Christmas holiday.
A report on WAVY.com noted Charlene Rios, a 37-year-old mother died on Christmas Eve from injuries she suffered in a wreck with a Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads firetruck a week earlier.
The accident occurred on Dec. 17 as the engine attempted to cross Hampton Boulevard en route to an emergency on Hampton Boulevard near Baker Street.
Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads is based off Terminal Blvd. in Norfolk, Its mission is to support service personnel and their families. NSA Hampton Roads boasts the largest concentration of fleet headquarters administrative and communication facilities outside the capital of Washington, D.C
The WAVY report stated Rios’ 12-year-old daughter was riding in the passenger seat. She required 23 stitches in her head after the crash with a firetruck on Hampton Boulevard.
The TV report stated doctors had to amputate Rios’ leg after the wreck and she also sustained fractures to her foot, ribs, and pelvis.
Richie Donato, her husband of 23 years said she was on a ventilator and was heavily sedated. She was scheduled to undergo surgery seven days later but died from complications on Christmas Eve.
Mr. Donato said doctors informed him his wife had bacteria in her blood and they suspected she had a blood clot in her lung.
This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family at this time. In the aftermath of serious accidents, victims often suffer complications. They don’t always make it back to recovery.
This accident raises serious questions. Police say the firetruck had its lights and sirens activated as it headed to an incident. The 12-year-old passenger told WAVY she never heard sirens before the impact.
Police are looking into the crash with a firetruck on Hampton Boulevard. The results will be turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney who will decide if any charges will be filed.
An online Gofundme page has been set up after the death of the mother-of-four. When a family loses a member, it inevitably faces considerable financial hardship.
Accidents with emergency vehicles occur on a regular basis. About 31,600 were reported from 2000 to 2009. Every year, about 2,600 people sustain injuries from crashes involving ambulances, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Many accidents with emergency vehicles go unreported. However, we often find out when accidents involving emergency vehicles cause fatalities and injuries in Hampton Roads and elsewhere in Virginia. In 2015, a patient traveling in an ambulance died on Route 13 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia when an ambulance driver went straight through a red light and hit a bus. The ambulance driver was later charged over the incident.
The drivers of emergency vehicles face a difficult balancing act. It’s vital for them to be on time for an incident but they have a duty not to endanger road users. They must activate their sirens and flashing lights when attending an incident.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Hampton Roads crash, please call our Norfolk auto accident injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.