Records show driver in deadly EMS wreck has past job-related incidents - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Records show driver in deadly EMS wreck has past job-related incidents

By Shayla Reaves

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- WAVE 3 has uncovered new information about an accident involving a Louisville Metro EMS run that killed the patient almost a month ago. It happened at the intersection of Rockford Lane and Vanhoose Road. As WAVE 3's Shayla Reaves reports, our investigation found the ambulance driver has been in serious trouble before and suspended from her job for it.

It has been more than a month and Maggie Whobrey still waits to learn what happened the night her mother died. 54-year-old Vickie Whobrey struggled with health problems and needed an ambulance.

"It's just going through my mind, 50 million things...what all did my mom see?" Whobrey told WAVE 3 News."I need to know the truth of what happened behind that wheel. That is owed to me and my family."

Early on the morning of April 2nd, the ambulance hit a utility pole and crashed through a fence in a yard on Rockford Lane. Whobrey died of blunt force trauma from the crash. In an early Shively Police report, ambulance driver Tammy Brewer told police she was "In the process of turning off emergency lights when she looked up, saw a pedestrian and swerved."

WAVE 3 found a witness who says that is not true. Tammy Pablo says she was driving behind the ambulance for about a mile that night.

"Yeah, I kept backing up because we were the only ones on the road," said Pablo of that night."Then I'd heard that someone ran out out in front of them. That's not the case."

Pablo claims the ambulance was all over the road.

"They were swerving something terrible," she said.

We wanted to learn more about the driver and our open records request revealed the following:

  • August 14, 2007: Brewer was suspended from her job for one day for falling asleep and missing a call for a cardiac arrest.
  • September 21, 2007: Brewer received a written warning when her stretcher rolled away from the ambulance and struck a vehicle in the University Hospital parking lot. 

We showed the documents to Whobrey Monday afternoon. She says her mother wasn't strapped in properly for her run.

"They only strapped this and this," she said pointing to her lower legs. "They didn't have nothing on her chest."

We don't know if sleep played any role in this case, but EMS officials say crew members typically work a ten hour shift. Some shifts are longer if they work overtime. Crew members are required to have at least eight rest hours between shifts. While Louisville Metro EMS officials won't comment on the specifics of this case, they do confirm that several blood alcohol tests have been performed.

Online Reporter: Shayla Reaves

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway

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