HP: Ambulance involved in fatal Lexington Co. accident

(Source: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department)
(Source: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol says there has been a fatal accident that involved an ambulance.

Authorities say the accident happened just after 7 p.m. Monday on Platt Springs Road in Lexington County.

Officials say the driver of the ambulance, Joe Neal, was not an EMS worker and was not transporting a patient. Neal is a vehicle maintenance worker who was taking the ambulance home for the night.

Neal says the driver of a red 1996 Ford Escort station wagon tried to pass another vehicle in front of him and he hit the ambulance head-on, causing it to roll onto its side.

"I mean, going 45 miles per hour, they were probably about 15 feet in front of me when they swerved a second time," Neal explained. He went on to say "pretty much it's a blur, and I remember hanging there by the seatbelt, so I kinda remember it tipping over. I didn't realize it flipped until it impacted on the side."

A neighbor, who also happens to be a nurse-in-training, saw the accident and came outside to help.

The driver of the Escort has been identified as 17-year-old Allen Quarles. He was not wearing a seatbelt. A 16-year-old passenger, identified as John Hewitt, was airlifted to Palmetto Health. His condition is unknown.

The accident is under investigation and a toxicology report is pending.

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