An emergency medical technician in New York City died Thursday after being hit by a stolen ambulance, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday night.
The death happened after a dramatic scenario in which two EMTs were responding to a call in the Bronx when a passing motorist alerted them that a man was riding on their rear bumper.
The EMTs stopped the ambulance and the EMT who was driving got out to approach the man riding on the back, New York City Police Department Deputy Chief Jason Wilcox said. The man then got into the driver's area of the ambulance, scuffling with the EMT in the passenger's seat, Wilcox said at the news conference at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
The EMT who'd been driving attempted to pull the man out of the driver's seat, but the man put the vehicle in reverse, striking one EMT and running over the other, Wilcox and NYC Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
The man then slammed the ambulance into a parked car and got stuck in a snowbank, Wilcox told reporters. At that moment, a transit police officer who was driving by stopped his car and apprehended the suspect with the help of passersby who also were in the area, Wilcox said.
De Blasio offered a "special deep thank you" to the transit officer.
Both EMTs were taken to Jacobi, officials said.
Fox5 said the EMT who died is a mother of five.
De Blasio said her identity would not be released until all family members have been notified.
"She started her shift today like every other day and then a senseless acts of violence takes her life," de Blasio said. The family is "going through unspeakable grief," the mayor said.
The victim is the 8th FDNY EMT and the third woman to die in the line of duty, Nigro said.
"It's a sad night ... for everyone in the department," the fire commissioner said.
The media relations representative at Jacobi Medical Center could not immediately be reached.