FIRST ON 3: Ambulance driver charged in deadly wreck has long list of traffic violations

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Submitted: Wed, 10/05/2011 - 3:59am
Updated: Wed, 10/05/2011 - 4:57pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A family is grieving and an ambulance driver is charged a day after a deadly traffic crash in Brunswick County.

Sarah Allen was just a month away from her 20th birthday. She died yesterday after investigators say an ambulance ran a red light near Shallotte.

“She was a beautiful child. Very sweet,” Sarah’s mother Deborah Allen said.

Allen says her 19-year-old daughter was headed to class at Brunswick Community College Monday morning, but she never made it.

Allen spoke to her daughter moments before she was hit by an ambulance troopers say ran a red light.

“she told me good bye around 8:45 yesterday morning,” Allen said. “I had asked if she had any breakfast. She said she was going to stop along the way and get something. We told each other we love her like we always do, always tell her to be safe like we always do.”

Allen says Sarah was in her first year of cosmetology school and was looking forward to her future.

“She would have wanted to get married one day and have children,” her mother said.

But while this Oak Island family grieves, many ask questions about the crash.

Investigators say the ambulance did not have its lights on and did not yield the right of way at the stop light. The ambulance was taking a non-emergency case to the hospital when it slammed into the teen’s sedan.

The driver of the ambulance, Joseph David Fancher, has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

This is not the first time the 45-year-old has been in trouble behind the wheel. Fancher’s list of traffic violations include driving without a license, expired inspection, no seat belt, no insurance, and speeding.

The Allen family did not want to say much about the details of the crash, but did want to share some advice with parents.

“Hold your family tight and close to you,” Allen said.

We contacted Amera-Tech, the company that owns the ambulance, for a comment, but we have not heard back.

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83 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Ambulance driver charged in deadly wreck has long list of traffic violations"

2015 years 8 months ago

If you truely are an LEO, and you are passing judgement, you should be ashagmed of yourself. From a LEO.

2015 years 8 months ago

I’m seeing so many statements about Amera-Tech units being seen on different occasions speeding up and down the road or whatever, has anyone once pickedup the phone to report this to the head office? Put yourself in the drivers shoes for one minute, how would you feel if you were driving and took somebodies life?? Accidents happen everyday and Im.sure no one intended for this to happen. I understand a life was took but what are you getting out of it talking trash aboutf the driver and the company? They are hard working people with families to support. They have a difficult job to do and its far from being a taxi driver. They dont go to work every morning looking for a life to take, they go to work to help serve and save lifes, they never know when an non-emergency case is gonna turn into an emergency. Thats way more than a raxi driver!! Go srand in front the mirrior and ask yourself, what if that was me driving and took a life, how would you feel?? My heart goes out to the family, for the lose of your family member, the driver,for what you will have to live with the rest of your life. GOD bless you ALL!!

2015 years 8 months ago

It was a NON-EMERGENCY transport!! This means that there was no sirens involved!!! He did not flip the lights and sirens on because he didn’t realize he was about to run a red light because he probably wasn’t paying attention!! And even if he had time to flip the lights and sirens on….it’s not going to magically remove the cars from the intersection!! He probably still would have hit someone! Also, if an ambulance is going to far above the speed limit it will “out run” it’s siren….meaning that other drivers will not hear the siren in time to move out of the way before the ambulance is upon them. This is a sad situation for everyone involved! Including the driver who will have to live with a mistake he made! This was indeed just a mistake! I’m sure this man would never do this purposefully! We all have moments where we aren’t paying attention while driving….some of us are just lucky enough NOT to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

2015 years 8 months ago

You think that ambulances should use their lights and sirens for non emergency transports? Are you aware that raises the risk of an accident? Lights and sirens are used ONLY for emergency situations! This ambulance driver not having his lights and sirens on was not the cause of this situation! Him running the red light was! Even when running lights and sirens you still have to stop at EVERY red light! Oh and by the way….if you have your lights on…by law… you HAVE to have your siren on. Please stop commenting until you research a little about ambulance policies!

2015 years 8 months ago

Whether or not there is fault, nor will this bring that precious child back. We all need to pray for her family and her friends. I have lost a close memeber of my family 6yrs ago and this yr. It doesnt feel good you feel empty. The family shouldnt have all this They need to be lifted up in prayer. So lets all take a moment of slience and lift this family up.