NewsLocal NewsInvestigations


'Just a catastrophic type accident': Kansas City-area EMS chief speaks after deadly ambulance crash

Deadly ambulance crash
Posted at 8:14 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 12:16:06-04

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — A Kansas City-area EMS chief is speaking with the KSHB 41 I-Team after an ambulance crashed and killed a patient.

Kansas City, Missouri, police are now looking into what caused the crash that took place Sunday near U.S. 71 Highway and Bannister Road.

The ambulance was on its way to Research Medical Center but never arrived. It was coming from Warrensburg with a patient on board.

“We’ve never had such a just catastrophic type accident,” said Shane Lockard, EMS chief with the Johnson County, Missouri, Ambulance District.

Lockard told the I-Team the patient, identified as 62-year-old Raymond D. Miller, needed specialty care for a gastrointestinal issue. The nature of the issues required Miller to be taken to a larger hospital, which Lockard said is a common practice.

“It was an urgent transport. The patient needed to go right away, but it wasn’t a lights and sirens response. It wasn’t critical,” Lockard said.

KCMO police said the driver of the ambulance lost control near 71 Highway and Bannister Road. The vehicle left the road and overturned twice.

Miller died at the scene.

“Just absolutely that our hearts are broken for them. Their loss is real,” Lockard said of Miller's grieving family.

Lockard said both crew members on board were taken to the hospital. They’re now at home.

“They became victims in this accident," Lockard said. "We show up to work as EMTs and paramedics every day with our intent to help other people, to take care of people. To lose a patient is extremely hard on them as it is for our organization."

The driver of the ambulance was a 21-year-old EMT. She’s been on the job for less than a year and began last October.

Lockard said police are looking at whether wind was a factor in the crash as the EMT was going below the speed limit.

"We have an on-board sensor that says she was doing 61 miles an hour, and we looked at what we referred to as a black box in the video, we’ve determined that box said 62," Lockard said. "We know the speed limit on the road she was on is 65 miles an hour."

Police have the black box, per Lockard. He told the I-Team police will also soon have video from the cameras inside the ambulance, including one that faces the driver.

The driver of the ambulance will remain on paid administrative leave throughout the investigation, which Lockard said is standard procedure.