One person was trapped and three EMTs were taken to area hospitals last night when an alleged drunken driver with a previous history collided with an ambulance on Interstate 84. The accident closed down all westbound traffic on the highway. Hear the radio transmissions of firefighters responding below.
At approximately 9:30pm on Sunday, March 26, 2023, the Maybrook Fire Department, Mechanicstown Fire Department, several ambulances, the New York State Police, the Town of Montgomery Police, and Village of Montgomery Police were all dispatched to a motor vehicle accident with possible entrapment on Interstate 84 westbound in the area of Beaver Dam Road. As first responders were hurrying to the scene, Orange County 911 reported an ambulance might be involved, which was later confirmed by the first arriving units.
There were reportedly no patients in the ambulance – until the EMTs became the patients.
A medevac helicopter was alerted and placed on standby, but it was later cancelled. Firefighters used Jaws equipment to cut open the ambulance and free an EMT from the wreckage.
According to the New York State Police, a 2014 Acura TL collided with an Ambulnz ambulance. Ambulnz is based out of Robinson Avenue in the City of Newburgh.
When state troopers arrived, they reported observing the operator of the Acura standing outside of her vehicle. Police identified her as Ragi Hill, age 26 of the Town of Wallkill. As troopers spoke with Hill, they determined she was impaired by alcohol.
Troopers then spoke with the driver of the Ambulnz ambulance and its occupants. The ambulance was not in emergency operation at the time of the collision, according to the New York State Police.
The Ambulnz driver was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh for a shoulder injury, police stated. The passengers in the ambulance, both EMTs, were also transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for minor injuries.
Hill was transported to Garnet Medical Center for evaluation. She was arrested and charged with DWI with a Previous Conviction in 10 Years, a Class E felony; Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the 1st degree, a Class E felony; and several Vehicle and Traffic Law violations. She was issued an appearance ticket and released.
She is scheduled to appear in the Town of Montgomery Court on May 3, 2023, at 2:00pm.