Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ambulance breaks down taking motorcyclist to hospital

CLEARWATER — As a Sunstar ambulance carrying an injured motorcyclist raced to Bayfront Medical Center on Tuesday morning, the unthinkable happened on the Bayside Bridge.

The ambulance's transmission failed, the engine stalled and the vehicle slowed to a standstill — right in the middle of the bridge.

The patient inside was Barbara Edwards, 59, who had just been seriously injured in a crash at the intersection of Keene Road and Drew Street.

Help was not far away. A Clearwater Fire Rescue vehicle was following the ambulance. Emergency workers hurriedly switched Edwards from one vehicle to the other. She arrived at Bayfront in St. Petersburg, and the ambulance was towed away for repairs.

Why was the Clearwater rescue truck following the ambulance to the hospital?

"We had fire medics inside the ambulance with the patient. If we're requested, it's normal for us to assist at the scene," said Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. "And if our medics go with them to the hospital, then we've got to bring them back."

It was fortuitous that the rescue vehicle was so close behind, said Sunstar director of communications Stephen Glatstein. But there was another Sunstar ambulance six minutes away, he said, so the outcome would not have been catastrophic if the Clearwater vehicle had not been there.

Sunstar ambulances experience "critical failures" that incapacitate the vehicle less than 1 percent of the time on emergency calls, Glatstein said.

The original accident happened about 11:45 a.m. when Edwards, riding a motorcycle, sideswiped a Nissan pickup as she tried to merge into a lane on her left, Watts said.

Later Tuesday, Edwards was listed in good condition at Bayfront.

The pickup driver, Manuel Perez, 46, was not injured.

Martine Powers can be reached at or (727) 445-4224.

Ambulance breaks down taking motorcyclist to hospital 07/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. These two documents illustrate how Florida has made it harder to access inspection reports of nursing homes, heavily censoring what the public can see. In the foreground is a document obtained from a federal agency that details the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, where 10 patients died after Hurricane Irma. Behind it is the state's version of the same document, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  2. Amber Alert canceled after Bradenton siblings found in Alabama

    Public Safety

    An Amber Alert was canceled early Friday morning for four Bradenton siblings who were taken by their mother, who authorities said does not have custody of the children.

    An Amber Alert has been issued for four Bradenton siblings who were taken by their mother, who does not have custody of the children. [Florida Department of Law Enforcement]

  3. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation


    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us


    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.