Society

Couple Sues Ambulance Company After Teen Son's Death

| by Shani Shahmoon

Medical transportation company Rural/Metro of Tennessee was hit with a $5 million lawsuit on Feb. 24, claiming members of the ambulance service failed to save a 14-year-old boy's life despite their abilities to do so.

Richard and Amy Merrell are suing Rural/Metro on behalf of their youngest son, Andy, who died in a car accident in Corryton, Tennessee, in February 2016, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Austin Merrell, the 22-year-old father of a newborn, drove his two brothers, Andy and Skyler, and their friend, Clay Church, to get pizza on Feb. 24 when wind reportedly caused Austin to lose control of the car. He crashed the vehicle into an open 6-foot culvert.

The lawsuit goes into detail, describing the crash report at 6:59 p.m., with first responders at the scene by 7:10 p.m. and a second unit arriving at 7:26 p.m.

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Rick, the father of the three boys, said he received a call from Skyler right after the accident.

"He said, 'Daddy, it's bad,' he said, 'Come get me, Daddy, it's bad; I'm hurt'," Rick said in an interview with WVLT.

According to the lawsuit, Rural/Metro EMTs declared Andy dead on the scene; they did not reach out to nearby responders who had the necessary tools to perform a vehicle extrication, which would have safely removed Andy from the crushed car.

The written report, however, states a first-responder noted that Andy was "alive and had a detectable pulse."

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The death certificate lists the 14-year-old's time of death at 9:35 p.m. -- hours after the first responders arrived.

Lawyers T. Scott Jones and David Hollow will represent the Merrell family, according to WBIR.

Rural/Metro said in response to several requests for interviews that it will not comment on pending litigation.

Sources: WBIR, Knoxville News Sentinel, WVLT / Photo credit: GoFundMe

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