FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Lee County ambulance and an SUV collided at the intersection of Veronica Shoemaker and Canal Street, sending six people to the hospital. Witnesses told Fort Myers Police the ambulance displayed no lights or siren, ran the stop sign and hit the vehicle.
WINK News is waiting for police to issue an official statement, but spoke with those familiar with the intersection who say a crash like this was bound to happen.
"I've seen the police officers go through it numerous times, they do what I call a rolling stop. They just go on through it. I've seen ambulances do the same thing," said a local business owner, who wished to remain anonymous.
"Quite honestly I've been waiting for something like that to happen down there. I really have. Because I've seen it several times almost happen. And of course, unfortunately, this time it did, " he said.
The Fort Myers Police Department said in a statement to WINK News, "Two paramedics in the ambulance were transporting a patient to Gulf Coast Hospital but witnesses say the emergency equipment was not activated."
An officer we spoke to at Tuesday's scene said despite that, drivers should always watch for emergency vehicles, move to the right and slow down.
But local lawyer Michael Beckman says the law speaks for itself.
"We do have a move out of the way law in Florida. but under Florida law, they are require to use a whistle, a signal, a siren as an er vehicle. Even if they are using it they are still expected to use care. In this situation, if there were no lights, no signal, no whistle coming from that emergency vehicle, then in that case it sounds like the er vehicle would have been at fault," said Beckman.
The identities of the people involved in this crash have not been released yet.