A paramedic from South East Coast Ambulance Service has sadly died after the emergency ambulance she was travelling in was involved in a collision with a cement lorry.
It is understood that, despite the best efforts of her colleagues, the paramedic tragically died at the scene.
Three other people – including two other medics aboard the emergency ambulance – were injured, one seriously, after the collision in Tonbridge, Kent.
Kent Police are seeking dashcam footage and witnesses following the collision on the coastbound carriageway of the A21 near Sevenoaks.
A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service said:
‘It is with huge sadness that we confirm the death of a paramedic involved in a collision on the A21 yesterday evening (5 January 2022).
‘South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) was yesterday (5 January 2022) called to the scene of a road traffic collision on the southbound carriageway of the A21 near Tonbridge at 8.20 pm.
‘The collision involved a Trust ambulance and a cement lorry.
‘Three members of staff were travelling in the ambulance at the time of the collision but were not conveying a patient.
‘Multiple crews attended the scene, including the air ambulance service alongside police and fire service colleagues.
‘Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, a female paramedic sadly died at the scene.
‘A male paramedic, who sustained serious multiple injuries, was airlifted to Kings College Hospital in London and a student paramedic, who was travelling in the rear of the vehicle, was taken to hospital with a head injury.
‘The lorry driver suffered minor injuries.’
SECAmb Executive Director of Operations Emma Williams said:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and our heart-felt sympathies go to her family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time.
“Our thoughts are also with the other injured staff members as well as all of those who responded to the incident.
“We are supporting the police in their enquiries and would urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.”
Hundreds of tributes to the paramedic were made via social media in the wake of the news.
A spokesperson for Kent Fire & Rescue Service said:
‘Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to a crash involving a lorry and an ambulance on the A21 coast-bound, near Sevenoaks.
‘Four fire engines attended and crews used hydraulic rescue equipment to free two casualties. Sadly a female paramedic died at the scene, a male paramedic was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, and a student paramedic was taken to hospital with a head injury.
‘Everyone at KFRS is thinking of SECAmb colleagues at this sad time.’
Following the news, tributes started to flood emergency services social media accounts.
One Facebook user said:
‘So sad. You should not have to go out on shift and not come home. Condolences to the family and colleagues. Hope the injured make a full recovery, and everyone gets the support they need.’
‘Horrendous news My heart goes out to her family, friends and colleagues whilst wishing the other crew full and swift recoveries.’
Officers from Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit have commenced an investigation and are asking anyone with dashcam footage prior to the incident to come forward.
One poignant message, left by a colleague in a different Trust, read: ‘Calls Clear, Stand down and return to base your shift is done RIP from your family in green at SWAST.’
Anyone with any information that may assist with the investigation is asked to call 01622 798538 quoting RY/CS/03/21. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
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