make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

UPDATE: Listen to 911 call warning of hospital crash

READ MORE: UPDATE: Listen to 911 call warning of hospital crash
truckcrash300.jpg

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We're learning more about some 911 calls made before a truck crashed into New Hanover Regional Medical Center this morning. WWAY has obtained recordings of calls to the New Hanover County 911 Center just before the crash.

A little before 6:30 a.m., the 911 Center received a call from a man who identified himself as Jeffrey Elliott. He told the operator, "I would like to leave a suicide note. I'm about to drive my truck through a building."

(Click here to listen to the call)

The caller said he was driving 80 up Market Street as he told the operator, "I keep losing my family and jobs and stuff, so I might as well go ahead and end it. I need someone to write it down, so that's what I'm about to do."

The caller went on to tell the operator that he felt that there was no hope for him. When she asked if he felt violent, he answered, "Yeah. I'm about to do it now," and then hung up.

A clerk at the Motel 6 on Market Street called 911 moments later and said that the man had used her phone to place the call. She told the operator that the man left and then came back and asked her to call 911 to tell operators he planned to drive into the hospital and to get people out of the emergency room.

A New Hanover Regional Medical Center spokeswoman says at 6:24 a.m. Friday a New Hanover County 911 dispatcher called the hospital's special police to notify officers about the calls. As the officer hung up, a white work truck drove into the doors to the lobby of the hospital Intensive Care Units on S. 17th Street.

The accident did not stop patients and visitors from coming and going to the hospital. Hospital officials say this is the first time something like this has happened.

"The vehicle went through the doors and is sitting just inside the lobby area, and so there's some area damage around there," said Martha Harlan, NHRMC's PR and Marketing Director. "There's no structural damage to the building but there is some pretty severe damage to the entrance."

No patients or workers at the hospital were hurt. The driver was taken to the emergency room for treatment.
A hospital spokeswoman says NHRMC's special police continue to investigate. She also said the driver is still being treated at the hospital. His name and condition are not available at this time because of privacy laws.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Just watch your bills when

Just watch your bills when you pay the hospital. They love to over charge people. They will continue to charge you even if you paid them off. I know someone that works there and they said it was the way they got their money for the ones that don't pay.

He must have been driving a toyota?

hmmm..I wonder if patients were seen faster than the usual 2 hour wait?

Well I guess like the rest

Well I guess like the rest of Obama's health care plan, we will have to pay to have the hospital repaired. We certainly wouldn't expect the person that caused the damage to pay.

WTF is wrong with you that

WTF is wrong with you that you have to take a piece about a seriously depressed and suicidal man (poor guy) and turn it into something about Obama and health care reform? Are you really that screwed up?

Just added!

Now we offer drive thru service.

HAHA! You said it right!

HAHA! You said it right!

Let me guess.......the

Let me guess.......the driver thought the gas was the brake.

President Obama said that

President Obama said that the new healthcare bill would make healthcare accessible for all....

LOL That was a good One.

LOL That was a good One.

Like the rest of the health

Like the rest of the health care bill, the working tax payer will have to pay for the damage to the hospital also. We certainly wouldn't expect the poor person who crashed to be held responsible.

Not quite

As a former employee I happen to know the hospital takes no money from the tax payers. They are self funded. As much as you would like to think you pay the salaries and for new technologies, in fact they raise the money and pay for it themselves. You shoul dbe proud to have a hospital like that because many if not most non-profit hospitals DO take tax dollars.

That is true, the hospital

That is true, the hospital is a non-profit organization, so seems as if someone needs to check their sources.

not quite correct..

No offense, but you're mistaken. the other post was correct in that the taxpayer pays the bill for the indigent (& maybe the car crasher guy) via taxes paid to the govt. So, absolutely, the taxpayer pays the bills. Believe this, without Medicare payments (which come from the tax payers), NHRMC would close quickly. Absolutely no way is NHRMC self funded, Medicare money keeps it open.

Thank you for my $60 Tylenol

Thank you for my $60 Tylenol NHRMC.. With prices like that.. You wouldn't have to embezle from the taxpayers

You're wrong, the hospital

You're wrong, the hospital is a non-profit organization...you need to check your sources.

You are correct.

The hospital is a Not-For-Profit medical care facility run by the NHRMC Foundation. However, I would like to point out that Non-Profits get special consideration in the tax code, such as special write-offs, write-downs for charity care, grants, and tax-exempt status.

This means that as a non-profit, they do still rely on tax considerations that come at the expense of the tax-paying public. Basically, the county budget is derived from tax revenue. Every time a non-profit or business writes down bad debt against their tax debt, the county takes in less revenue, which they have to make up on the other side, with means John and Jane Taxpayer.

In addition, being non-profit in no way invalidates the earlier arguments that without Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, NHRMC would not exist. It's laudable that in the current economic climate, NHRMC can be as successful as they are as a teaching hosptial / non-profit organization. At the same time, you can't simply breeze over the role that medicare payments, medicaid payments and private insurance payments play in their operating capital.

What's more, just because NHRMC is not-for-profit doesn't mean the specialists and doctors that work there are. When was the last time you went to the hospital? Our youngest child recently had surgery. We received a facilities charge from NHRMC, bills from the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the radiologist tech that read the scans, etc.

Those doctor's, specialists, and technicians that are part of private practices don't work for free, and most (if not all) are for-profit providers.

So, in my opinion, it's a little naive to assume the fact that NHRMC is not-for-profit somehow invalidates the earlier statements; when in fact, the two are not mutually exclusive.

You forgot to mention...

Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid keep NHRMC open. Without Medicaid, the ER would close. At one point, the hospital had two DSS Medicaid caseworkers on staff to handle all the medicaid cases the hospital was processing. Now, they contract with an outside firm, which takes medicaid applications from every patient without insurance...regardless of their ability to pay.

Self-funded...that's an oxymoron. Their primary source of funding is insurance billing...basically charging inflated costs to insurance carriers to offset the costs NOT covered by medicare and medicaid.