Evening update from Times Free Press: A Chattanooga woman was driving the Puckett EMS ambulance that crashed Friday morning in Rome, Ga., killing the patient it carried.
According to the accident report from the Rome Police Department, Rheanne Chrystin Keys, 21, was driving south on Martha Berry Highway near Berry College around 4 a.m.when the vehicle left the road, traveled 316 feet and struck a tree, and then vaulted an embankment before coming to rest.
The report said Keys told the officer she fell asleep at the wheel.
Sgt. Danny Story with the department said the investigation is ongoing and no decision has been made whether to bring charges of negligent manslaughter or other counts.
The report identified the patient as Tony Patterson, 55, of LaFayette, who died of blunt force trauma in the crash.
Ooltewah resident Robert Orlo Burnham, 29, a Puckett employee who was tending to Patterson in the rear of the vehicle, was injured in the crash. He and Keys were both taken to Floyd Medical Center in Rome for treatment, the report stated.
Puckett EMS released a statement saying the company is “deeply saddened” and sending thoughts and prayers everyone involved in the accident and their families. The statement said Keys and Burnham were in stable condition.
From WRGA: One person died in a wreck involving a Puckett EMS Ambulance Friday morning. Emergency officials were dispatched to Martha Berry in front of Berry College to a wreck with injuries around 4:30 a.m. According to Rome Police Capt. Chris DeHart, the ambulance was traveling southbound on Martha Berry and left the roadway and traveled around 300 yards striking two trees before coming to rest on its side. The patient, Tony Patterson, 55, of Rome, died while the driver and EMT were injured. For updates, please see WRGA.