Yemassee woman dies in ambulance crash

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 31, 2012 

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A 57-year-old woman was killed Tuesday when a private ambulance transporting her husband to their Yemassee home veered off Old Sheldon Church Road and struck a tree, according to authorities.

At about 11 a.m., Blandell Gary, her husband and another passenger were traveling north in a 2000 Ford Ambulance driven by Eugene Kirkland, 43, when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road, S.C. Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Bob Beres said.

Beres said Kirkland overcorrected and struck a tree.

Gary, who was riding in the front passenger seat of the ambulance, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen. She was wearing a seat belt.

Allen said the ambulance was on its way to the home Gary and her husband shared in Yemassee.

Kirkland and another passenger were flown to Memorial Medical University in Charleston, Beres said. Attempts Tuesday to learn their conditions were unsuccessful.

Another passenger riding in the back of the ambulance was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, he said.

Beres said he did not know which of the passengers was Gary's husband.

The ambulance was owned and operated by Lowcountry Medical Transport of Varnville, according to authorities. Attempts to reach a company spokesman for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The highway patrol's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating the crash, Beres said.

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