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EMT worker from Sandusky injured in ambulance crash

Sandusky Register Staff • Mar 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

A North Central EMS worker from Sandusky was injured late Friday when a box trailer struck an ambulance on Ohio 2 in Carroll Township.

Lindsey Rasmussen, 31, was flown by helicopter from the crash scene to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Her condition wasn’t immediately available, but Allen-Clay Joint Fire District firefighters said she was conscious and talking after the crash.

Rasmussen, an emergency medical technician, was a passenger in an ambulance driven by Steven Gwinner, 38, of Castalia, also an EMT. 

The ambulance was headed east on Ohio 2 at about 10 p.m. when it collided with an oncoming box trailer pulled by a Ford Explorer that had crossed the center line, Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ron Anderson said.

The ambulance did not have its emergency lights on and it was not transporting a patient. 

The collision caused the ambulance to skid before overturning onto its passenger side, Anderson said. It came to rest on the shoulder of the road, about 60 yards from where it struck the trailer.

Gwinner sustained minor injuries and was able to exit the wreckage on his own.

Debris inside the vehicle, however, had pinned Rasmussen to the passenger seat, Allen-Clay fire Chief Bruce Moritz said. Firefighters worked for about 30 minutes to free her.

“Once we removed the windshield and got the debris out of the way, it didn’t take that long to get her out,” Allen-Clay fire Capt. Keith Hemminger said.

A medical helicopter landed about 100 yards from the scene, near the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, and picked up Rasmussen. Gwinner was transported by ambulance to a Toledo hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening, troopers said.

The driver of the SUV — Jeffrey Szkutnik, 52, of Toledo — was cited for left of center.

“It almost felt like a premonition,” Szkutnik said. “There was an oncoming car ... it just seemed so close. I thought, ‘Give him some room.’ So I steered away to give him room, and then it happened so fast — pow."

The ambulance and trailer collided, but the SUV didn’t have a scratch.

Szkutnik said he turned his vehicle around and went to the ambulance, where he saw Rasmussen trapped inside.  

“She was conscious and sobbing and wanted her phone, probably to call who was close to her, her family,” he said.

Szkutnik said he just purchased the trailer this week. Friday was the first time he had ever pulled it. He was headed back from Pennsylvania with plant products.

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