Truck hits ambulance, overturns on U.S. 63

Friday, July 2, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:34 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

A truck traveling south on U.S. 63 overturned around 8 p.m. Thursday after it collided with the back of an ambulance.

The driver of the truck, who identified himself as Kelly Ripley, said the ambulance was merging onto U.S. 63 from the Stadium Boulevard entrance ramp. The cars ahead and behind him moved into the left lane to give the ambulance the right of way, he said, but the ambulance merged into the left lane also. A driver in the car ahead of the ambulance braked, Ripley said, causing the ambulance to do so as well.

The truck could not stop in time, and Batallion Chief Steven Sapp of the Columbia Fire Department said the truck began pushing the ambulance, which was responding to a respiratory distress call in Ashland. The truck overturned, spilling asphalt onto the road.

Ripley said he wonders why the ambulance moved into the left lane. “Why? That’s the million-dollar question,” he said.

“It’s an ongoing investigation and we’ll have to determine why,” Columbia police officer Brian Tate said. “Right now I can only guess.”

A medic who was a passenger of the ambulance was taken away in another ambulance. Sapp said the passenger was just “shaken up.”

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