First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Fatal Ambulance Crash in Rochester

Rural/Metro Ambulance Was on Non-Emergency Transport

Update, Tuesday am:  Amb. driver ticketed.  Scroll down.

AN AMBULANCE TRANSPORTING a Rochester, New York, nursing home resident to a hospital was struck broadside Sunday afternoon resulting in fatal injuries to the 82-yr.-old patient.

Democrat & Chronicle photo

The Rural/Metro ambulance was on a non-emergency transfer and was making a left-turn when a car coming the opposite direction slammed into the side of the ambulance.  Both of the medics were transported and the two people in the car, ages 84 and 92, were seriously injured. 

WHAM-TV Ch. 13 provided this video report from the scene:


Police have not yet determined which vehicle had the right-of-way.

The Democrat & Chronicle has MORE.

Update, Tuesday am:
The driver of the ambulance has been ticketed for failure to yield the right-of-way leading to the fatal crash on Sunday.
WHAM-TV Ch. 13 reports:

Brighton Police have charged a Rural Metro ambulance driver after a fatal crash Sunday. Police say Melissa Onderdonk, 43, turned in front of a car, causing the crash. She has been ticketed for failure to yield the right of way.

The accident killed Erwin Leonard, 82, who was a patient in the ambulance.

Monday evening Rural Metro released the following statement:

“Rural/Metro Medical Services deeply regrets the loss of life from yesterday’s accident. We are cooperating fully with the investigation by the Brighton Police Department and New York State Police. Rural/Metro Medical Services is conducting an internal inquiry as well, which will include a full review of applicable company policies and the procedures used in this case.

While the investigation continues, our ambulance crew members involved continue to recover from their injuries. Both crew members are dedicated professional first responders with many years of combined experience serving the public. Melissa and Dennis obviously have been personally affected by this tragedy along with our entire EMS staff.”

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