Two Persons Fatally Injured in Friday Night's Ambulance Crash on I-40
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday night’s crash of a Madison County ambulance on I-40 east near the Charlotte Pike exit claimed the lives of a female patient and a male paramedic who were both ejected from the rear of the vehicle after it struck a rock wall.
The deceased are identified as Nyema Jackson, 36, of Jackson, Tennessee, and Zachary Pruitt, also 36, of Humboldt, Tennessee.
The 2016 Ford ambulance, affiliated with West Tennessee Health Care and Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, was transporting Nyema Jackson to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As the ambulance negotiated a curve on the interstate, it left the roadway to the right and struck a rock wall. The rear of the vehicle sustained significant damage and Jackson and Pruitt were ejected. The ambulance came to rest back in the travel lanes of I-40 east. Jackson and Pruitt were transported by Nashville Fire Department ambulance to Vanderbilt after receiving CPR from first responding officers. They died at the hospital.
It was raining at the time the crash. The ambulance driver, Deborah Schichtel, 55, of Holladay, Tennessee, told responding officers that she had hydroplaned. Schichtel received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Vanderbilt. Witnesses reported that the emergency equipment on the ambulance was not activated at the time of the crash.
The preliminary cause of the crash appears to be excessive speed for road and weather conditions.