Oologah-Talala Paramedic Recovering From Ambulance Crash
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - Three people who were in an ambulance when it flipped end over end are lucky to only have bumps and bruises.
The driver was belted in, and the patient strapped to a gurney that is locked in place. The paramedic in the back is not secured, so he took the brunt of the wreck.
Todd Barron's real job is to work medical issues in the Rogers County jail. On his days off - Saturdays and Sundays - he's a paramedic for the Oologah-Talala Ambulance Service.
He has staples in his head, bruised ribs and feels like he's been inside a giant blender, but he knows how lucky he is.
"Todd, you doing all right, buddy?" asked Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.
"Doing okay," said paramedic Todd Barron.
"You look better than I thought you would have - an experience like that," Walton said.
Lots of people at the Rogers County Sheriff's Office were glad to see Todd Barron up and moving around on Monday, after being in such a violent crash on Sunday evening. They were transporting a patient from one hospital to another, when police say the driver of the ambulance swerved because there was a hay bale in the road.
The ambulance flipped end over end before coming to rest off U.S. Highway 169 and 46th Street North.
Todd landed on his right side on the floor, on debris. He says even though they try to keep everything contained, when treating a patient, they have to have some equipment out: monitors, computers, clipboards, for example.
"There's a bar that runs across the roof of the truck we use, hang onto it when we're standing or moving around," Barron said. "I remember trying to get a hold of that, but when it was up, I was down and when I was down, it was up."
Todd has been an EMS more than 20 years and been in other crashes, but nothing this bad. He was very impressed with the Tulsa firefighters and EMSA workers who took care of him, the driver and the patient.
Todd has seven staples in his head, and his ribs are bruised. He's sore from head to toe.
"We're lucky we weren't hurt a lot worse. Any time an ambulance rolls, it's never a good thing, so we're lucky. There's no doubt about that," the paramedic said.
A firefighter who worked the crash says the man who lost the hay tried to go back and get it. The man said no one would slow down or move aside, and he was afraid of getting run over.
Tulsa police received several calls about large bale of hay in the road prior to the accident.