Patient dies after ambulance hit powerlines

A patient on an ambulance has died after it smashed onto a electric pole today.

The incident happened on SH1 in Moerawa this morning. The patient, who was in critical condition, was reportedly traveling with three St John staff in the ambulance to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa. Emergency services were called to the scene at 6:38am.

The power lines reportedly fell on top of the vehicle and trapped all four passengers inside.

Police said that it is still not known whether the patient died because of the crash.

One of the hospital staff suffered minor to moderate injuries. The St John crew were “obviously shaken and distressed,” said Derek Liefting, St John Assistant Director of Operations.

“We are supporting our staff involved in this accident and our thoughts are with the patient’s family at this time,” Liefting added.

“Ambulance staff go out every day to save lives and it’s very unfortunate that in this case that there’s been a crash,” said Senior Sergeant Chris McLellan.

The Herald reported that the staff were not able to get outré of the ambulance because of the downed powerlines.

“It became apparent en route that there was one of their own involved in the crash,” said Northland Emergency Services Helicopter Trust pilot Pete Turnbull, who flew two paramedics from Whangarei to Moerawa.

It was revealed that the driver of the ambulance was not speeding.

Power to about 500 houses in the area was cut, but are currently being restored. SH1 has been reopened, but NZTA have told motorists to expect delays.

An autopsy on the patient has already been conducted.