Patient dies, five hurt after ambulance crash in northwest valley

Five people were hurt and a woman died after an accident Tuesday morning involving an ambulance.

The woman was the patient in a Medic West ambulance when it was hit by a red pickup about 10:30 a.m. at Craig Road and Decatur Boulevard in the northwest valley.

The ambulance, which also was carrying two North Las Vegas firefighters and two Medic West paramedics, tipped onto its side, Las Vegas police said.

The woman was treated at the scene by the firefighters and taken to MountainView Hospital. She died a short time later.

It was unclear whether she died from injuries suffered in the crash or her prior medical condition.

The pickup's driver was taken to University Medical Center in serious condition.

The firefighters and paramedics also were taken to UMC and were in stable condition.

North Las Vegas officials said the firefighters "selflessly ignored their own conditions" and treated the woman until additional paramedics arrived.

In a statement by Jeff Hurley, president of the North Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1607, Hurley said Tuesday's accident could have been prevented.

He blamed the deaths on deep budget cuts to emergency staff and equipment, noting the North Las Vegas department lost six of its eight ambulances.

The statement said the Fire Department's ambulances are larger and designed differently than the one that tipped on its side.

The North Las Vegas department's ambulances were equipped "with multiple harnesses to handle these type of emergencies," the statement read.

Hurley added: "These cuts are affecting us in more ways than we ever imagined."

The crash forced police to close southbound Decatur at Craig and remains under investigation.

Review-Journal reporter Antonio Planas contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.