A Turlock man is dead after he was first struck by a vehicle on his bicycle then was involved in a rollover crash when the ambulance that was taking him to the hospital was broadsided Thursday night.
Two firefighters, a paramedic and an EMT who were in the American Medical Response ambulance suffered moderate to severe injuries and the driver who hit them was also injured, said Turlock Police Sgt. Russ Holeman.
The first crash occurred around 9 p.m. at North Olive and Hawkeye avenues where a bicyclist in his 60s riding south was struck by an eastbound Kia driven by 18-year-old Sydney Tyler. Holeman said investigators are still working to determine who had the right of way.
The bicyclist, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family, suffered severe injuries. Due to the high level of trauma the AMR ambulance was taking him to a Modesto hospital and two Turlock firefighters were riding in the car to assist with his care, Holeman said.
About three miles from the original crash, the ambulance was traveling west on Monte Vista Avenue with lights and sirens on when it was broadsided by a pickup that was heading south on North Golden State Boulevard.
Six additional ambulances responded to the scene to take everyone involved to various hospitals.
The Turlock firefighters were treated and have since been released.
The AMR paramedic and EMT remained hospitalized on Friday with non life threatening injuries, according to AMP spokesman Jason Sorrick.
Holeman did not know the condition of the driver of the pickup, 62-year-old Luis Ambriz Madrino.
Holeman would not release the names of the firefighters and AMR employees, referring to their respective agencies, which also did not release the names.
Investigators are also still working to determine whether Madrino or the ambulance had the right of way.
Emergency personnel driving with lights and sirens on can go through red lights but must still follow the vehicle code that “requires we drive with due regard for public safety,” Holeman said.
He did not know at what speeds the vehicles were traveling but said, “Because they were treating a patient in the back and there are railroad tracks at that intersection I am sure they took those items into consideration.”
He said an autopsy will need to be conducted to determine whether the bicyclist died of injuries sustained in the first or second crash. He did not know what type of treatment the man was receiving when the second crash occurred.
“Despite being injured in the accident, our two firefighters started providing care to the patient and injured ambulance crew before additional Turlock Fire crews could arrive on scene,” The Turlock firefighter’s union wrote on its Facebook page Friday. “We wish these firefighters a speedy recovery and thank them for their dedicated service.”