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
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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.

83 Comments

  • Guest28470 says:

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

  • SomewhereSMH! says:

    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!!

  • Guest945612 says:

    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.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    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!

  • jules says:

    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 neg.feedback. They need to be lifted up in prayer. So lets all take a moment of slience and lift this family up.

  • Guest20 says:

    The only problem with that is…aren’t YOU judging people right now?

  • Snuffy Smith says:

    It is truly amazing how people are so quick to judge when all the facts are not in. You only know what the TV station reported, and they reported the way to get you to watch their show.
    1. For those of you that have perfect records you have been lucky. I was a Deputy Sheriff for 15 years. I could follow you for awhile and ticket you for something you did illegal.
    2 Accident- by definiton is an act of happening that did not occur on purpose. this was an ACCIDENT. The accident was caused by something. But not all the facts are in yet.
    3. Driving record: If everyone that had an OLD record like his were denied a driving job. there would be a lot of driving jobs not filled. I am now a safety director for a trucking company. He would have met our qualifications and the insurance guidelines. A person can improve their driving habits as they mature.
    4. Emergency people do need to exercise more care and responsibilty in performing their duties. However they are still humans and do make make bad decisions and mistakes. However we need to know all the FACTS.
    5. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved with this tragic accident, Everyone will suffer in their own way. The family has lost a loving daughter. the driver has to live with what his actions has caused.

  • Guest13234323 says:

    Oh Oh I know the answer, pick me. The reason he ran the red light is he made a mistake, have you never made a mistake? are you perfect in every way. Judgement is mine sayeth the Lord, are you the Lord. Do you not think this man has enough to deal with? Try to think before you speak.

  • Guestdsdfafda says:

    Thank you for being the voice of reason. I love that most of these folks will got to church on Sunday, bow their little heads and act like good little christians.

  • Guestllsal says:

    Who the heck do you think you are? are you kidding? you guys fly up and down the 17, talking on your phones, playing with your computer. If you are truly law enforcement police your own behavior first. Trust me LEO in brunswick county is no squeaky clean in driving behavior, as we saw when one of your own about killed herself on the 17 and it all quietly went away. So get the heck off your high horse and do not make comments that make this man feel any worse then he already does. You should be ashamed of yourself, if your a trained professional.

  • Guesthkdhagg says:

    Driver shows a pattern of bad driving, period. Why would you defend that? fool

  • Guestright says:

    1.Wow, that’s just odd.
    2.Fact: girl is dead because driver ran red light.
    3.Low standards for drivers.
    4.Facts do not change the outcome.
    5.Driver is more worried about going to prison. Betcha!

  • Guest20 says:

    I was behind a guy at a traffic signal on South College Road yesterday who was trying to make a U-turn. Apparently, the guy who was in front of him did something to upset him because when the front car turned, the driver in front of me gave him the finger and was moving his mouth, so I knew he was cursing at the man. I also made a U-turn along with the guy in front of me. I was shocked when this same guy who gave the finger and cursed at the guy in front of him….turn into a church parking lot. I was blown away!

    Christians, please remember…there is always someone watching you. You are a representative of Jesus Christ and should behave accordingly.

  • Jeremy says:

    Ok WWAY you have had your run with this story.It is way past time to close this comment thread.This ain’t your usual R.C.Soles comment parade.A young woman is dead and a man has to live with his actions the rest of his life.May God bless the Allen Family.

  • Lisha Jones says:

    Regardless of his mistake he should have been paying attention while driving. One has to understand that while driving you MUST stay focused. It wasn’t like the red light wasn’t hard to see. Anyone with driving common sense should know if you approach a traffic light so many feet to slow down. You never know when it change

  • Guest09273 says:

    First off I am not a law enforcement officer but I have many friends/family that are. You make comments about them speeding up and down 17, talking on their phones and playing on their computers. Well just to give you some insight, many of these officers are indeed trying to get from one call to another. The county is very large and many times with a limited number of deputies covering the entire county. Everyone complains about response times but than complain when they see them speeding. How can these men/women win?! Than talking on their cells… how about that they are talking to dispatch about the location of the call or coordinating backup. Also, are you telling me you never talk to your family at work? Well their job requires them to be in a car so sometimes yes they need to make calls while driving. It’s not against the law in NC as far as I’m aware. As for the computer… do you realize they run tags of cars to try to catch people that way? Yes there are some that take advantage of these things but in many cases they need to use these things to do their job. As for the deputy you refer to, and people still will not give up about on these boards, she does not work at the department anymore.
    With all that said, this tragic situation is not a time to bash LEO when it had nothing to do with them.

  • faraway says:

    This company has been warned and spoken to by fellow employees that some of the employees are driving these vehicles way to fast. Also it is known that the upkeep on these ambulances are not done very well. It is possible the driver was not able to stop due to lack of service of the vehicle. It is very tragic that a beautiful life was lost. Hopefully the owner(s) of the company will open their eyes and see that they need to listen and watch.

  • Guest1234 says:

    People can only speculate at what happen. A young person’s life has been taken and there is no getting it back. We can sit there and lay blame on the driver, he is the one that knows what happened and he is going to have to live with that everyday minute of his life. People think that driving an ambulance for a transport company is just being a taxi service. These EMT’s are qualified for an emergency that comes up. Every EMT has to take a driving class. Yes there are some that are careless, but that is people in general. There are complaints of these drivers of going to fast, being careless, and any other complaints that you can think of. It is hard to tell when some of these complaints are true or not. You have people that don’t like a service or an employee and they call and complain and the person might not be in a unit. These EMT’s are hardworking, underpaid caring people that are out there to help the sick and the hurt. The transport companies are out there taking the disabled, sick, or people without transport to doctor appointments or returning them back home. Sometimes , they are called to take someone to the doctor that is able to stand or walk, you get there and there is at least two cars in the yard, the family just don’t want to take them. They do it everyday, they work long hours with little sleep and for what, just to be put down. No, he shouldn’t have ran the red light, but he did. People shouldn’t put down every EMT just because of the carelessness of some of the others. There are some very good EMT’s out there. Just remember, because there is one bad apple in the bunch doesn’t mean they all are bad.

  • Guest1964 says:

    I understand that this was an accident, but cannot believe that this guy is only being charged with a misdemeaner. He is an ambulance driver and should be held to a higher standard when he is behind the wheel of an ambulance. My heart does go out to the family of this young woman.

  • Guestfisherman says:

    stop light this tragic accident took place at changes pretty quickly. I am NOT defending the person driving the ambulance at the time of the accident. If you are going north bound or south bound and you notice this particluar light is green be prepared to stop because it IS going to turn red by the time you reach the intersection. It happens to me everyday. You have to be extra diligent when driving a larger vehicle approaching the intersection and you must be REALLY careful if you are leaving the frontage road area. Like I said I am playing neutral here but please take an extra second or two to look both ways and take the extra time to slow down at ANY intersection.. May God bless and comfort all those involved and affected by this horrible event…….

  • sean says:

    i worked for ameratech and i know what goes on in the ambulance and what the ambulances are like to drive them and they dont keep them up and dont take good care of the units i am sorry for the both of the people that was involved in the accident

  • SurfCityTom says:

    perhaps you should head to Jon David’s office.

  • Guest6381 says:

    Please re-read my post. No one denies he made a mistake…WHY did he make it? And, yes, to answer your question, I have made mistakes, but never killed anyone when making one. I have driven heavy vehicles, and one thing you must do when approaching an intersection with a traffic light is to ANTICIPATE that the light might change before you get there. There are sensors in the pavement that will keep you from having to make a panic stop. He had plenty of time to bring the ambulance to a safe stop had he been paying attention to what he was doing. I am pretty sure the light has a delayed green, as well, which means the light turned red for him quite a distance before he got to it.

  • Enough says:

    To Sean:

    Is this the same Sean that also stole a gas card from Amera-Tech and used it for your own personal gas? But then again how was Amera-Tech to know you would steal from them?

  • unbelievable says:

    Everyone who has been so quick to judge the driving record of the ambulance
    driver never once has questioned the victim’s past substance abuse history or HER toxicology results. Think and get all your facts straight before you start throwing stones at glass houses because you would be surprised at what you may find. RIP Sarah. I hope that you have found the peace that you were looking for and that your inner demons have finally been defeated. My heart and prayers are with your family and friends that loved you so very much.

  • Guest123 says:

    This is a dangerous area with a lot more accidents then should happen in one spot. IT is sad this young woman died. condolences to her family. The man driving the ambulance will have to live with this, I think ambulances should always have their lights, sirens on when transporting patients, life threatening or not. If they are going to run red lights etc the siren should be on!

  • Kat says:

    Maybe its my age, Im 52, but I was taught that when you hear a siren of any kind you pull over til it passes. You dont look around to see where it is, you just pull over. That being said, had I been driving the car that got hit, if I heard the siren I would have pulled over. However it is my understanding that this particular EMT did not have his siren on and ran a red light. Thats just wrong. Did he not have time to flip the lights and siren on when he saw he couldnt stop? I dont know how long it takes to do this but i would think you just flip a switch. What gives?

  • L says:

    I believe hes more upset over the loss of the young woman’s life then anything.

  • Tired of It says:

    There have been so many accidents @ that light it is unreal. I just wonder how many people have lost there life there? Of course nobody has posted those on the News, just like the intersection at the old Brunswick Hospital again it seems until an ambulance, law enforcement, or public service is involved does it get this much publicity. I’m just tired of hearing the guy ran the red light DO THEY KNOW HE RAN THE RED LIGHT? WHO’S TO SAY SHE DIDN’T JUMP THE GUN ON THE LIGHT? After all the news should report the facts instead of “hearsay” I “heard” the girl was turning right then changed her mind? Maybe that scenario should be looked into.? All I have “heard” on here is he ran the stop light. There are so many ways to look @ this, stopping anything over 10,000 pounds can not just happen in a matter 4-6 seconds. Ask any truck driver. I have family that drive 18 wheeler’s and they have told me people pull out in front of them, switch lanes on them, and so on. What needs to happen is EDUCATE PEOPLE WHO DON’T DRIVE SOMETHING LIKE FIRE TRUCKS, AMBULANCES, 18 WHEELER’S, AND SO ON BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE HAVE TRAINING. Seems like we all need to have RESPECT for the big ticket items on the road and stop driving so careless and STOP PLACING THE BLAME ON THE “BIG TICKET ITEMS” after all honestly how many times have you thought you could pull out in front of an 18 wheeler and “make it”? MAY GOD BLESS ALL PERSON’S EFFECTED BY THIS.

  • Whatever says:

    “Girl is dead because driver ran red light”
    DID U SEE HIM RUN THE RED LIGHT??????? BET NOT.

    “Low standards for driver’s”
    HA HA Sorry you never had a “speeding ticket”? I saw where his last speeding ticket was 7/8 yrs ago. TO FUNNY

    “Fact’s do not change the out come”
    No they sure don’t !!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Driver is worried about going to prison. Betcha!”
    UR AN IDIOT !!!!! Betcha u betcha know NOTHING LAST I SAW EMS WORKER’S ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF SAVING LIFE NOT SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENING, When the EMS Unit wrecked at 904 & 17 about 8-9 yrs ago I don’t think it got this much TV News. Who was at fault for that? I surely don’t rem. And if I recall correct that unit was on it’s side…. U think someone was worried about going to Prison? BETCHA NOT!!!! FOR EVERY ACTION THERE IS ANY EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION THAT CAUSES EVENTS…. PEOPLE ARE TRUELY IDIOTS!!!!!!!

  • Guest ann says:

    I am a ex employee of this company in defence of the company and this statement made on the up keep of the units. The units are serviced on a schdule every weekend and repaired in the most part they are kept in good working order. Now this was a horrible accident and my heart goes out to family. Nothing can replace a child i can only imagine pain and lost. With saying that i know the man personly and i know this is tearing his heart out with greif. now I would like to address the attack on this company not only on here but on the roads, in businesses of this area. These people are already hurting they don’t need a helping of brunswick county rudeness. The day after the accident 2 employees were trying to eat lunch and the resturant refused to serve them. 2 trucks were run off the road with people showing obseen justers. These people are there providing a service. Out there trying to earn a living just like everyone of you. They are also the ones that are there when your volenteer unit pulls in your yard. On the weekend because your love one is sick or dyeing or has fallen. So before you are so quick to abuse the uniform of these people think about the faces and the next time you may see them. My heart goes out to all that in involved here I pray God touches them all.

  • las says:

    There are many times I’ve seen LEO fly down the road then pull over next to a buddy (not on a call), I’ve seen them burn rubber leaving places just for fun, Talking on their Cells to people completely unrelated to law enforcement, I was beside one that actually wasn’t speeding but he had the phone to his ear for about 15 miles and I’m sure it wasn’t to dispatch. Nobody is perfect, nobody is blameless. Mistakes happen and we don’t truly know the facts. I mean this is the news we are talking about here, not exactly the biggest fact machine out there. Almost every firefighter or EMT I know has at least 1 if not more tickets in 8 years, The man only has 2 tickets for moving violations both approximately 7-8 years ago. Bashing him is not going to help the fact someone has passed away, especially when we don’t know all the facts. Plus if you see the pictures of the ambulance then you would see he wasn’t speeding, Ive seen more damage from a parking lot fender bender. This is a truly tragic ACCIDENT and my heart and prayers go out to the family of the young woman and the driver who has to live with this the rest of his life, something no court could ever top.

  • gypsy101 says:

    Let me start by saying yes this man did have some minor traffic violations in his past.But they were minor.This is a man who was a boy scout most of his life,graduated high school and went into the army.He also went to Saudi Arabia during desert storm and worked for a comany that seviced the military vehicals like tanks. When he got out of the army he went into the US Coast Gaurd. He married and has four wonderful children whom he loves dearly.
    This is a man who went to school while working as much as possible to provide for his family. He always loved helping other people and would give someone the shirt off his back if they didn’t have one.He tried to stop at this light but just couldn’t do it and it wasn’t because he was speeding. He is unconsolable also at this time. I can also tell you that he would give anything for this not to have happened. All he can do now is try to forgive himself which is going to be a very hard thing for him to do. I know that he prays that this young beautiful girl’s family can find some comfort in knowing she is with God and he hopes that someday her family can forgive him. He knows he has recieved it from God because this was not intentional. I am praying for her family also. You see Joe’s and my mother just passed away this june after along year of battling multiple melenoma The worst cancer anyone could have. He was there to hold her hand and give her some comfort too.We know fist hand how bad this hurts so our hearts go out to her family. That’s just the kind of person he is. I hope that you people will cut this man a break and act more like Christians and not judge him on the little you hear from news people there is much more to him than that. You never know when this could be you in the same sittuation.I know this man so well and love him with all my heart because you see Joe is my baby brother and even after this horrible thing happening I will still love him. Thanks for listening.
    Tara.

    Thanks

  • None Ya says:

    I totally agree with you, and from experience (ambulance driver) LOL I have observed all week since this accident occured and have watched as ambulance’s and other drivers go the speed limit. While they are going down Hwy 17 they are getting passed at high rates of speed some may be Emergency personell, county sherriffs, and just everyday citizens. So whether or not the next ambulance driver you approach is speeding or actually going the speed limit, think about your own actions before you post all of the comments and negativity you do. EDUCATE PPL WAS RIGHT ON THE MONEY! THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST………..JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER HERE.

  • guest1127 says:

    okay so with the record the this man had why in the world would ameria-tech let him drive any how! i have seen plenty of the ameri-tech ambulances flying like a batt outta hel* down highway 17 and swerving from lane to lane and it baffles me that they have still made no move to better their company by means of getting rid of people like this man with a poor driving record or the people who do not take the time to look at them. my heart goes out to this family you are all in my prayers

  • Kimnel says:

    WHY WAS THIS GUY DRIVING AN AMBULANCE???

    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.

    What is wrong with this picture???? I just can’t believe some of the posts…..there is a girl dead!! This world is just plain crazy!!!

  • A Sister says:

    I am a close friend of the family. They are not discussing the accident specifically. They are currently hours away from Brunswick County preparing to bury Sarah tomorrow. Sarah had just bought that car, and she was ecstatic. She dyed my hair a couple of days before her passing, and all she could talk about was happy she was to be going to school finally and enjoying her life and friends.
    I understand those of you who didn’t know her feel the need to discuss the accident, who to blame, etc. Her own parents aren’t even playing the blame game, they are praying for strength, they are mourning, and they are acting like respectable adults.
    Religious or not, cop or not, EMT, or regular citizen, I ask all of you to think of her family. Take this article (whether poorly written or not) as a reminder of how precious loved ones are.
    We gained an angel Monday, we love you Sarah.

  • Guest87493 says:

    I know a couple of the comments stated that it was an accident BUT, on the other side Im in law enforcement and we are taught that there are no such things as accidents. They are crashes because of someones neglect. Although it is sad for both parties involved, us as emergency type workers always are suppose to “opporate in due regard for the saftey of the public”. It doesnt matter if you have your lights and siren on or not if you approach a red light and you run it and hit someone it is still your fault. There was no need for the ambulance driver to drive like this as well as to have that DMV record and be aloud to operate an ambulance on behalf of Ameri-Tech. I pray for the family as well as the ambulance driver, but you have to pay for not paying attention.

  • Deneen says:

    Yes, like one other comment. I too, have been driving for 40+ years. Never had a speeding ticket, Never drivin without a license. Only have had two bump-ups in a parking lot. That’s it. Yes, there are a lot of responsible safe drivers on the road. Why would Amer-tech hire someone whose driving record proves he is obviously a careless driver. His carelessness has broken the hearts and shattered the lives of a very large family. She was a daughter, granddaughter, she had many aunts and uncles, she had many cousins and many many friends. Their lives will never be the same.

  • its me says:

    Leave it to WWAY to embellish the story as usual. As if the tragedy wasn’t enough of a story they have to provide misleading information concerning the driver of the ambulance and his driving history. What they failed to report is that in 2004 he was convicted of driving on a revoked license and 2 speeding tickets reduced (as usual) in 2003. His license was probably revoked for not paying fines on the 2003 speeding tickets. All of the other charges were dismissed. This whole incident was tragic and my heart goes out to the Allen family. Rest assured, the court cannot punish this man to any extent that he is already punishing himself. He will have to live with his mistake. And yes it was a mistake but one we have all made at some point in our driving days. To all of you including myself, be glad we had better luck than conduct because we have all at some point become distracted for whatever reason and ran a red light, slammed on breaks to prevent running a red light, bumped into someone’s vehicle, etc. AFter all, we are all human.

  • Guest28451 says:

    Generally employers only look at recent driving records. Like everythingelse if the guy hadnt had a legit moving violation since 2003 (8yrs) If employers only could hire somebody whod never had a violation they would be hard to find ‘perfect’ drivers.. Normally the offenses that are disqualifying are those such as DWI/DUI (at 10yrs maybe they are no long considered if its a one time violation). But Id hardly say a guy with 2 speeding tickets from 8 yrs ago and then apparently didnt pay his fines in proper time is hardly somebody who is a threat to the roads. Sorry some people arent quit as perfect as you grampa.

  • Guest28451 says:

    The guy had 2 speeding tickets 8!!! 8 yrs ago The revocation is a potential issue but it was likely for failure to pay tickets (My wifes boss got charged with the same thing over a stupid inspection ticket over a car she didnt even own any longer and got bad info from a court clerk all of a suddenly nearly 2 yrs later shes charged with Driving while revoked) Its not always done intentionally but it 2 was 7 yrs ago.. Most employers only care about recent infractions. And its not like law enforcement isnt immune to driving like idiots lest we forget the deputy who was driving 100MPH down Hwy 17 in her POV or the cop in Wilmington who got himself killed going way too fast down Shipyard Blvd. (To me its still disgusting that some guy was convicted of 2nd degree murder when the Cop was the moron driving way too fast for road conditions and he wasnt even actively involved in any chase)

    YOu are however right this was definitely a case of due regard that was seriously lacking but his old driving record isnt relevant here. I guarantee if you were to check driving records youd find plenty of ‘emergency workers’ who had old driving charges.

  • anne says:

    In response to your #1 – let me just say. I would love to be able to ticket the sheriff and highway patrol. There are some good ones out there, but if you have ever been on Hwy 17, you will see that most of those driving sheriff cars and highway patrol cars wouldn’t know the speed limit if it hit them over the head. I am not talking about those running their lights. I am talking about normal driving conditions. Go through Shallotte on any day of the week and you will see the same thing. I don’t know if the sheriff’s dept drivers even know what the speed limit is!!!! And don’t get me started about local police. I just love to watch the Sunset Beach police drive down the turning lane between OIB and Sunset. This is an often occurence – I have seen them pass cars instead of following them. No lights, no sirens – just too stinking lazy to stay behind someone else. Don’t know if you ever saw the show where Barney Fife is parked illegally and Gomer decides to do a “citizens’s arrest”. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I tried that! I would probably end up in the local pokey!!!!!!!!

  • No Name says:

    Thou shalt not judge for who are ye but an insignificant fool to judge.If you shall ever judge another, I will judge you. Love thy neighbor like family because jesus did and he died for you.

    “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” Albert Einstein.

    “When you judge another,you do not define them, you define yourself.” Wayne Dyer

  • Guest6381 says:

    I personally don’t think this man intentionally ran the red light. That being said, why did he? This question has never come up. What does HE have to say? Was he talking on a cell phone? Was he dialing or texting? The approach to the intersection is straight. I assume he is familiar with the area. It is a well-marked, visible intersection. What WAS he doing to cause him to run the light? Was he distracted by the patient? How about it Ramon or WWAY, any input?

  • BIG COUNTRY says:

    OK wise guys, where were you on application day? Did you bother to try and get the education it takes to work for one of these companies? Let alone with EMS. After the time it takes to get the required certifications, and more than likely holding down a another job while trying to attend classes and complete homework; after being considered for the job, which requires physical, mental, stress, drug, and skill tests. But wait, would you even think about applying for such a demanding job knowing that at best you would only make about nine to twelve dollars an hour. And on your off days be called in to work or risk loosing your job.
    Look at this, US population about 311 Million, US Drivers about 2.5 Million, EMS workers about 746,000. That’s More than 20% of all Drivers in the US are affiliated with the EMS or ambulatory transportation services. Not counting the more than 1 million firefighters in which many of them are cross trained at some level of EMT.
    And for you Mr Police man, screaming about how bad his driving record was, and how he should have never been hired to drive an ambulance in the first place. Let me ask you this, if it were not for that tin can you carry on your chest that makes you so perfect, how many tickets would you have, and would you even still have a license? I work among you guys on a daily basis and see the things you get away with. How many nights or days have you driven at least 20mph over the speed limit to the jail to turn over a prisoner just to get them out of your custody so you could get back to what you were doing to start with, or set up your speed trap to get another suspect.
    I could go all night, but I think you all get my point; the guy messed up, he made a mistake, now grow up and leave it alone! If you think you can do it better, get the degrees, and certifications, get the job, deal with the BS, and then come back and have the room to run your mouth and actually know what you are talking about!

  • john says:

    stop it. think about the family and her friends a young women with ambition died and all you can comment on is driving records. this will not bring that precious soul back.

  • Guest461 says:

    Multiple severe speeding violations. Driving without insurance, expired tags, expired inspection, driving while license revoked. This cat was an accident waiting to happen! I’m going to venture out and say, whoever hired this crunch bunny to drive their ambulance just opened someone up for one HUGE lawsuit!!! I mean c’mon, a simple DMV license check would have easily avoided this death! Wouldn’t “Driver Screening 101″ state that as a first step before hiring a driver? We must have former MacDonalds managers hiring ambulance drivers these days. If they passed the 5th grade, can walk and push a pedal, they’re a candidate.

  • BIG COUNTRY says:

    OK wise guys, where were you on application day? Did you bother to try and get the education it takes to work for one of these companies? Let alone with EMS. After the time it takes to get the required certifications, and more than likely holding down a another job while trying to attend classes and complete homework; after being considered for the job, which requires physical, mental, stress, drug, and skill tests. But wait, would you even think about applying for such a demanding job knowing that at best you would only make about nine to twelve dollars an hour. And on your off days be called in to work or risk loosing your job.
    Look at this, US population about 311 Million, US Drivers about 2.5 Million, EMS workers about 746,000. That’s More than 20% of all Drivers in the US are affiliated with the EMS or ambulatory transportation services. Not counting the more than 1 million firefighters in which many of them are cross trained at some level of EMT.
    And for you Mr Police man, screaming about how bad his driving record was, and how he should have never been hired to drive an ambulance in the first place. Let me ask you this, if it were not for that tin can you carry on your chest that makes you so perfect, how many tickets would you have, and would you even still have a license? I work among you guys on a daily basis and see the things you get away with. How many nights or days have you driven at least 20mph over the speed limit to the jail to turn over a prisoner just to get them out of your custody so you could get back to what you were doing to start with, or set up your speed trap to get another suspect.
    I could go all night, but I think you all get my point; the guy messed up, he made a mistake, now grow up and leave it alone! If you think you can do it better, get the degrees, and certifications, get the job, deal with the BS, and then come back and have the room to run your mouth and actually know what you are talking about!

  • Guest28472 says:

    as a matter of fact we do take to offense being called just mere “Ambulance Drivers,” we are professionals, certified and regulated by the state. EMTs put there lives on the line everyday no matter the situation. as an EMS worker myself, I have made a mistake before and accidently ran a red light in a non-emergency sitiuation, just by being distracted by something as small as a flicker of light. and also working for transport companies EMTs do encounter Emergency situations that call for lights and sirens, we are not merely a “taxi service” we save lives too! I have been involved in EMS (fire, rescue, and transport) for 9 years and I am proud to be a part of something as great as the EMS Community!

  • Wait a minute says:

    Sorry I stepped on your oxygen tube, young fellow. Your expert testimony, “You were never an ambulance driver, you know why I know that? because we don’t refer to ourselves as ambulances drivers…” is so wrong. Did I say I was an ambulance driver at the present time? No. My involvement with emergency medical services, if you prefer, was about 40 years ago when EMTs and Paramedics were a dream in somebody’s eye. Most of us were extremely well trained in first aid, CPR, light and heavy rescue and patient care (my squad, by the way, had the second set of Jaws of Life ever made, given to us by the manufacturer for testing. Los Angeles FD had the first). Mobil cardiac units and defibs were not even a dream in anyone’s eye yet. I stand by my first post–the driver of any emergency vehicle–ambulance, fire truck or police car–must be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. If I’m the guy in the back of your rig having a heart attack, laser, the last thing I want to worry about is a wreckless driver behind the wheel.

    Having said all that, all of the EMT/Paramdedic units I have come in contact with here are extremely professional people and we should be proud of them.

  • OIB resident says:

    Let he without sin cast the first stone.

  • Guest 25256 says:

    Very well said. Thank you!!!!

  • laser says:

    You were never an ambulance driver, you know why I know that? because we don’t refer to ourselves as ambulances drivers, matter of fact we take offence to that, we dont just drive people arround like a taxi, if you think that then just call a taxi. We refer to ourselves as EMT’s as is our job title, and swift justice!? really? Be honest with yourself, how many times have you ever caught yourself speeding, not paying attention, accidently running a red light, not completely stopping at a stop sign. If your honest with yourself it’ll be atleast a couple, now think about if there had ever been another vehicle around and you accidently took someone elses life, how would you feel? It was a tragic accident, nothing more or less. I am obviously also an EMT and I was Tboned by another vehicle (while in an ambulance) by a car that was traveling at around 60mph in a 35 and blew through a stop sign and hit us, Turning us over and injuring Me, My partner, and the passenger of their car. Sure we weren’t killed but it was a matter of another 6 inches and I would’ve been. Things happen, It’s not like this was done on purpose, something probably ended up distracting the driver, for all you know something was going on in the back of the ambulance. This was very tragic, but taking measures against the driver will not make things better and its surely not justice. Justice is reserved for criminals and those who willingly break the law. judge yourself before you judge others and as someone else said let those without sin cast the first stone. I really doubt there will be any flying stones anytime soon.

    My heart goes out to the family of the woman who died in that tragic accident and to the driver of the ambulance as well. I will pray for you all

  • None Yan says:

    I am sorry you feel that way, but I must ask Are you perfect? Have you ever made a wrong decesion? Have you ever received a ticket or citation? Well I definitely know the answer to #1 and that NO YOUR NOT PERFECT……………..when you get that way, then start judging people. But until then who’s to say that this would never happen to you. As for the Bible well I guess maybe I should let you borrow mine sometime because I am not sure if you have one to read or not but I will pray for you.

  • WHATEVER says:

    Scott we’re you there when it happened???? SO DO U KNOW IF HE RAN THE RED LIGHT? OR ARE U RELYING ON THE MEDIA? IF NOT MAYBE U NEED TO THINK BEFORE U SEND THE POST BUTTON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • OIB Guest says:

    An error in judgement is when we make a mistake. He did not wake up that morning and say “gee think I will have an accident and cause the death of another human being”. Have you never made a mistake? are you perfect in every way? do you never get distracted while driving? then I’m sure you will have a perfect driving record your whole life. You need to get a reality check and learn that as humans we are not perfect.

  • realitycheck says:

    jthe BOTTOM LINE in this tragic situation is that just as we all had a date and time to enter this world, we ALSO ALL have a date and time to depart from this world…no driving record, driving distraction, or mistake can alter YOUR time and date…YOU ALL NEED TO REALIZE THAT NO MAN CONTROLS OR ALTARS THE DATE NOR TIME THAT IS SET FOR YOU TO DEPART FROM HERE…its unfortunate that this incident had to happen, but obviously it was sarah’s time and date to go..whether auto-accident, health issue, sporting accident the BOTTOM LINE is it was her time..instead of bashing the driver, the company, and whoever else you want to drag into this, we should all be praying for peace, comfort, forgiveness, and understanding for both families..GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES

  • Whatever says:

    Obviously, freedom of speech u know nothing about. And ur damn flashing light maybe u should ask how many wrecks have been at that light? I know several people who has have wrecks there, NOT THERE FAULT, for the record!!!! MY QUESTION WAS DO U KNOW HE RAN THE LIGHT??? I’M SICK OF ALL THIS BASHING A MAN YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, PEOPLE NEED TO STOP JUDGING PEOPLE AND WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF. THIS IS A TRAGIC SITUATION FOR ALL PARTIES.

  • Guest7969 says:

    sir are very lucky then…because the MAJORITY of us DO have at least a speeding ticket or expired inspection ticket…soooo….two speeding tickets in his ENTIRE history of driving means he has a HISTORY of speeding?

    OH…and I’m guessing that YOU sir have sped and broken laws of the road….you just didn’t get caught!

  • b says:

    Really??? Are you kidding me???? YOU must be the one “TRIPIN”. NOT everyone has a record “that reads almost like that”. I personally have been driving for over 40 years….never on an expired anything, no tickets for no seat belt, no speeding tickets or anything else for that matter and only one accident when the guy behind me was cited for his failure to stop. This man has a history of not obeying the speed limit and failure to maintain his personal vehicle. Dates (the year issued) were given for the speeding tickets in the article so there goes your “20 year theory” also. Think the times he was ticketed for speeding where the only times he did it??? Guess again! Oh, one more question…would you let any of your family members ride in the car with him???

  • bla bla bla says:

    yes I would absolutley ride with joe and I have !!!! people dont realize that you cant stop an ambulance on a dime!!! alot of people just pull right out in front of them ALOT!!! GIVE JOE A BREAK he to is a father with a daughter and im sure he feels horrible enough already !!! get off of the band wagon you perfect people!!! RIP mrs allen

  • Guest7969 says:

    YOU know how to read? I said I was in emergency services…so YES I have broken the speed limit..MANY TIMES…

  • Guest461 says:

    You don’t put a fox in a henhouse to defend the eggs. You don’t hire a convicted felon to manage your cash register. You don’t hire a pedophile to work in a day care. You sure as hell don’t hire someone with an established record of irresponsible driving habits to pilot an ambulance. All of his record screams “irresponsible and unaccountable”, especially the string of non-moving convictions.

    As I said, this death could have been prevented if SOMEONE had said, “Nope, this guy has too many irresponible offenses and convictions to drive our ambulances!”

    Doesn’t really get much simpler that that does it?

  • Guest7969 says:

    First of all…in his defense, half of those aren’t moving violations. HOWEVER, as a person who was in emergency services….emergency vehicles in NHC and surrounding areas..SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF ME! I saw a fire truck going WAY TO FAST in between traffic just today in front of Trask/Laney! While traffic moved for him, if one of those cars would have pulled out or over…the driver would have been killed and the truck would have most likely flipped and taken out a bunch more cars as it went! Emergency vehicle drivers need to be reminded CONSTANTLY that THEY are responsible for their driving! By running sirens and lights you are ASKING for right of way…you just don’t HAVE IT!

  • EMTJBrown says:

    And you probally have never driven fast a day in your life have you???

  • Guesttyui says:

    if it keeps guys like this on the road.

    This is the driver’s NC record. Does he have a different home state and what was his record there?

  • Guest1275 says:

    With a record like that of blatantly breaking the law, maybe he should be charged with *FELONY* death by motor vehicle. Evidently he never learned from his past mistakes. Ameri-Tech needs to be held accountable as well. Do they not do background checks when they hire people???

  • Guest7969 says:

    you guys are TRIPIN out over these records…this is over a 7 year period…dates weren’t given for the speeding..heck that could have been 20 years old for all we know….the insurance and registration charges…LOTS of people get those, especially if their money is tight. I will NOT defend the drivers unsafe driving on this incident…but COME ON…just about EVERYBODY has a driving record that reads almost like that…

  • Das Weibstück says:

    The negligence of this ambulance driver and the company that allowed him behind the wheel of a huge vehicle is unforgivable. NO decent company would allow this man to drive with a record like this !! He deserves jail for killing this young woman.

  • anne says:

    First – I am 54 years old and have a perfect driving record
    Second – It wasn’t a mistake he made; he made a conscious desire to run a red light which resulted in an accident that caused the death of another person
    Third – his record speaks volumes – look at it!
    Fourth – no I am sure he didn’t get up yesterday and decide to kill someone, but when he ran that red light, he made a choice and that resulted in a tragic situation.

    Yes, he will pay for it for a long time, whether it be the legal ramifications or the memory of what he did, but at least he is alive and he can be visited in jail if that is where he goes. Sara’s family won’t have that luxury will they?

    I have a feeling the family of the person that was in the ambulance will probably have something to say also. They could have been seriously injured or killed by his negligence.

  • None Ya says:

    With everyone so quick to judge people here, what gives You that right? While yes it is such a tragedy that a life was lost on yesterday, but everyone here needs to think about our ownselves; how many times have you been sppeding, ran a light, trying to slow down and couldnt so you kept going, pre-occupied with something or someone else, and been careless on the road? If you’re honest with yourself atleast once or twice.
    While this driver may have had many tickets in the past how many of you have a perfect driving record? If everyone that is making out-landish remarks could show the past of your lives would you not have a few things that may be questionable?
    As an EMT, or Paramedic we go through many months of extensive training, continuing education on a monthly and yearly basis; I would know I have been a Paramedic for more than 20 yrs and it seems that when a situation such as this tragedy happens we are placed on a higher pedistal than we should be because just like you WE ARE HUMAN TOO! Everyone makes mistakes and often times no one gets hurt or killed and we are just the lucky ones. But until you can sit there and be honest about never making a mistake or making a bad choice that has resulted in consequences, KEEP YOUR MOUTHS SHUT! NOBODY IS PERFECT
    I am pretty sure that the person driving the ambulance didnt wake up on yesterday and set out to intentionally cause harm to such a beautiful young lady (Sara Allen)resulting in a traumatic mistake.
    Both families in this loses and for the family that lost a child, grand-daughter, cousin, sister or a friend; my heart goes out to you in this time of tragedy. For the person that was driving they also lose, they lose thier life as they know it. He or She will have to live with themselves forever and if they have families they will also have to pay each and every day.
    With all this being said as the Bible speaks “Let us without sin cast the first stone”, I have no right to pick up a rock and throw when my driveway is full of stones and as far as I am concerned neither do any of you writing comments. Take all the negativity and find some type of positive for yourselves and the people involved.

  • concerned17 says:

    Keep your mouth shut? The last time I looked there was some BIG flashing caution lights that flash letting you know the light is changing. He chose to keep going, he is responsible for taking her life.

  • Marla says:

    We would only expect these answers from EMT’s trying to find a way to excuse yourself. You cannot dismiss this terrible tragedy as just a mistake.

  • ER Nurse says:

    Please- get a grip! While normally I would agree with not judging others – here is my opinion.

    While most of us do not have perfect driving records – most of us DO NOT HAVE A JOB THAT REQUIRES US TO DRIVE FOR A LIVING!!

    This man should not have been hired for this position. I doubt he normally would have been hired for a pizza delivery position .

    As a nurse, an ER nurse – I respect and understand the training involved in being an EMT or a Paramedic. We ARE held to higher standard. And we SHOULD be.

    It is sad that this happened. I am sure that the driver feels terrible. But I promise – this girl’s family feels worse.

    His family will see him again.

    Part of mourning is anger- while it may not always be right- it is what happens.

  • Scott says:

    Are you kidding me with this response. You think before push the send button. Look at his record, and ran a red light and killed a person. This isn’t a mistake, he ran a red light. Take that bible you are preaching from, and beat yourself with it

  • anne says:

    My heart just breaks for the family of Sarah. How sad and how unnecessary her death is.

    This man has to be held accountable for the stupid decision he made. On one of the other stories, someone said he made a mistake. No – a mistake is adding 2+2 and getting 5. He made a decision that cost someone their life and for that he is responsible.

    Amer-tech deserves some responsibility also. No background check – no accounting for this man’s record. Total irresponsibility on their part.

  • Wait a minute says:

    I once was an ambulance driver. Emergency vehicle operators must be held to a higher standard. You have a patient on board who is not in a life-threatening situation means you are extra careful so your patient is comfortable and so you don’t do something stupid. (If your patient IS in a life-threatening situation, then you are triple careful.) I have no problem saying a prayer for him. I’ll pray that justice is swift and merciful and he is taken off the road forever. He gets to see loved ones every day. Sarah’s folks don’t anymore.

  • Gramps1935 says:

    I agree. How sad, and tragic, for this beautiful young lady, her friends, and her family. The ambulance driver messed up. He made a mistake. Who hasn’t accidently run a red light or been speeding ? It was a accident, and certainly not deliberate. So instead of throwing rocks at him, lets say a prayer for him too. I’m sure he feels very bad. I will use this tragedy as a post-it note, for me to try to be a little more careful, myself. I can think of several times, when it could have just as easily been me.

  • Guest6 says:

    This is a truly tragic situation. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young woman. My prayers also go out to the driver of the ambulance and his family and friends. Situations like this are hard all around and the best thing that you can do is to remember the life of this young woman and celebrate it.

  • gypsy101 says:

    Hello, Sorry I don’t know who you are but I am Joe’s older siter Terry.I have been on this computer for two days trying to send some info to these oh so perfect people who think they know him, The trouble is every time I get my message all typed out and then submit it, it never shows up on that coment page. Do you know what else I can Do?

  • laser says:

    1st: Good for you,
    2nd: You don’t know what was going on in that ambulance, something couldve happened in the back to distract the driver, he coulve fallen asleep from being overworked, couldve been distracted by something else on the road or someone else, I know Joe and he wouldnt just run the light, there had to have been something going on.
    3rd. The only thing I see on his record is 2 tickets going 20 over the speed limit, OVER 8 YEARS AGO, which im sure all of us have done at one time or another without getting caught, the rest were Insurance related. Companies check driving records from 3-5 years back. The reason for the insurance and inspection violations are most likely from the fact that EMTs are underpaid and therefore those with families need to support their family before worrying about insurance and inspections,
    4th. Again I seriously doubt it was a concious choice and you not being in the ambulance with them, should have nothing to say about it

    It was a tragic accident, nothing more then an accident. My heart goes out to the families of the poor young woman, and joe who has to live with this the rest of his life

  • Guest28451 says:

    He would never be hired to delivery pizza? Roflmao you really dont know much about the liability rules for drivers do you? 1st off in the case of the pizza driver as long as they have no major violation within last couple yrs they could careless. The drivers have to be covered by their own insurance coverage so the pizza establishment isnt liable. The guy had 2 bloody tickets 8 yrs ago.. And just to speak from experience I was in Fire/EMS for many years before becoming involved in the healthcare field as a nurse. The reality is the companies have certain standards they have to meet based on their insurance company. Im being dead serious NO company would have denied this guy as a hire with 2 moving violations for speeding 8 yrs ago. If you knew what the hiring processes involved for Emergency Services the standard usually is No moving violations within a 24-36 month period (some will allow one depending) Also no DWIs within 7-10yrs (and this would be a single DWI only any 2nd and its automatic denial of eligibility).

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