NewsLocal NewsInvestigations


‘This is going to be bad': Witness recalls deadly ambulance crash in KCMO

Deadly ambulance crash
Posted at 12:55 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 19:40:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man who pulled over to help after a deadly ambulance crash Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri, talked about what he saw with KSHB 41.

The crash happened on U.S. 71 near Bannister Road. A patient being transported in the Johnson County, Missouri, Ambulance District vehicle, 61-year-old Raymond Miller, died at the scene.

“It was windy," the witness, Adam Miller, said. "I mean, it was windy."

Adam Miller, who was returning to Iowa after a camping trip, immediately knew how devastating the crash would be.

“I remember telling my fiancée, she was in the back seat with the baby, and I said, 'This is going to be bad,'” Adam Miller, who is not related to Raymond Miller, said.

As a former reserve sheriff's deputy in Iowa, Adam Miller knows how to respond to emergencies. He pulled over and told his fiancée to call 911 then immediately went looking for anyone who had been hurt.

“If that was my kids in there or my family or anybody, would you not want them to stop?” Adam Miller said.

He can be seen in the middle of the aftermath in a picture provided by a viewer to KSHB 41.

Adam Miller told the KSHB 41 I-Team that the patient on board the ambulance was still alive when he got there but ultimately did not make it.

“I had reached under and closed his eyes and covered him up,” he said.

KCPD is investigating the circumstances of the crash. So far, investigators have only said that the ambulance driver — who was transporting the patient from Warrensburg on a medical transfer — lost control before the vehicle went off the road and overturned twice.

"We've never had such a just a catastrophic type accident,” the ambulance district's EMS chief, Shane Lockard, previously told the I-Team.

Lockard said the ambulance was on its way to Research Medical Center, where he would receive specialty care for a gastrointestinal issue.

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

Both ambulance-crew members on board also were taken to the hospital and now are recovering at home.

As a former first responder, Adam Miller was still concerned about the 21-year-old ambulance driver, who KSHB 41 isn't identifying because she hasn't been charged with a crime or traffic violation.

“I’m worried about her, because that changed her life,” he said.

For Raymond Miller’s family, who lost their loved one, Adam Miller wanted to share a message.

“He wasn’t alone," Adam Miller said. "He wasn’t alone when he went and my heart just goes out to them. I just hope they don’t have hate or ill will toward this girl. That’s my biggest hope."

Lockard said police are looking into whether wind was a factor in the crash. He also said the EMT was driving below the posted speed limit.

Lockard added that the driver will remain on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure.