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'This is something that was preventable,' Brother of Westport crash victim speaks out after KCFD email

Email revealed KCFD was warned of driver involved in crash
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Posted at 6:01 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 18:49:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The brother of one of the Westport crash victims is responding to an email first obtained by the KSHB 41 I-Team.

The email detailed concerns and complaints about the fire truck driver months before the crash. Three people died, including Michael Elwood in December.

"It feels like this is something that was preventable," Nathan Elwood, Michael Elwood's brother said.

Elwood wants to know if anything was done after the email was sent to KCFD supervisors by a paramedic.

The city has said discipline records are not open to the public. Elwood said that information should be released.

"Given this complaint and the perspective of the EMT, it feels like he shouldn't even been driving in December," Elwood said.

The KCFD paramedic sent the email in late September to a captain and battalion chief. At the time, the driver she talks about was behind the wheel of an ambulance.

In the email, the paramedic describes an incident where she feared for her life. She said the driver was "going so fast" and they went airborne.

Another time, the paramedic said they were taking a critical patient who was intubated to the hospital. She and another co-worker told the driver to "slow down" after he took some turns too fast causing her to fall off the bench seat.

The paramedic said she "went home in physical and mental pain."

"It doesn't feel like they did enough to prevent it. I don't know what was done. I don't know what happened. They're obviously not making that information available at this time," Elwood said.

Since the I-Team first reported about the email, we've contacted the fire department every day. On Tuesday, they got back to us, but would not address the email.

"We do not have a comment, as this is a pending investigation," a statement from Jason Spreitzer, a spokesman for KCFD, said.

The I-Team received similar statements from Mayor Quinton Lucas' office and from four city council members.

"We do not comment on pending litigation," a text message from a spokesperson from Lucas' office said.

We've been trying to get a hold of the driver's attorney, but still have not heard back from him.

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