Two emergency workers died after suffering severe injuries in an accident early Saturday, marking the first known deaths for Indianapolis EMS while on duty in more than a century.
Private Timothy C. McCormick, 24, of Greenwood, an emergency medical technician for Indianapolis EMS, died from the injuries he suffered after the ambulance he was in was hit by a car, rolled on its side and struck a parked car.
Specialist Cody S. Medley, 22, of Indianapolis, a paramedic who was also in the ambulance, died Sunday at Wishard Hospital.
Police are investigating the accident, which happened at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of St. Clair Street and Senate Avenue.
McCormick joined Indianapolis EMS in 2010, and was originally from New York. He had trained to become an EMT in New York, recently attended Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis and was an Eagle Scout, a news release from the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety said.
McCormick was described as compassionate, and involved in community outreach efforts, including health fairs, and efforts to educate the public on CPR.
McCormick’s relatives are in Staten Island, New York, Indianapolis EMS Chief Charles Miramonti said.
“The entire Indianapolis EMS family is deeply saddened by the news of our fallen brother. Tim was a heroic provider, but he was also a wonderful colleague and friend to us all,” Miramonti said in a statement.
Medley was an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and ski. He attended high school in Scranton, Penn. Medley previously served with the Sunman Fire Department and received EMT training through Ivy Tech Community College and the Indianapolis EMS academy. He was hired with Indianapolis EMS full-time in 2010, Miramonti and public information officer Todd Harper said.
Medley’s father, Jeff Medley, said he was proud of his son at a press conference Sunday that Medley’s stepmother and grandfather also attended.
The deaths of McCormick and Medley are the first recorded deaths Indianapolis EMS has had since the late 1800s, Harper said. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard praised the two men, who devoted their lives to helping people in the middle of difficult, dangerous situations, he said.
“I think it’s incumbent on all of us, the community of Indianapolis, to do the best we can to take care of them at this point in time,” Ballard said.
McCormick and Medley were driving south on Senate Avenue when their ambulance was hit by a vehicle driven by Jade Hammer, 21, of Indianapolis, who was driving west on St. Clair Street. The intersection where the accident happened had a yellow flashing light for traffic on Senate Avenue, and a red flashing light for traffic on St. Clair Street, a news release from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
After the ambulance was struck it rolled onto its side and slid into a parked vehicle. Both Medley and McCormick had to be removed from the ambulance by emergency workers and received severe injuries. No one else was in the ambulance at the time of the crash, the release said.
Hammer was also taken to Wishard Hospital and treated for a minor head injury, the release said.
Hammer told police she is new to Indianapolis and didn’t know the area well, and that she was listening to directions on a GPS device shortly before the crash. She told police she had less than two drinks that evening. Police drew her blood after the accident, according to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
No one has been arrested, the report said.
Police are investigating the accident.
“We’ll just have to see what the investigators come up with,” Ballard said.
After the crash Indianapolis EMS workers were at Wishard Hospital around the clock, making sure that McCormick, Medley and their families were never alone. Indianapolis EMS has received calls and messages of support from the public as well as other fire and ambulance agencies, and any workers who haven’t been able to work because of their grief over the accident have received paid time off, Miramonti said.
“I think this is one of the hardest parts of the job, professionally,” he said.
Miramonti said the city is currently planning a large-scale memorial service for later this week to honor McCormick and Medley.
Ballard said the community is in mourning, and called for flags to be lowered to half-staff.
“These first responders were devoted to helping others and risked their own lives to do so every day on the job. We stand by our IEMS family to give them strength in this time of grief,” Ballard said in a statement Sunday.