A 911 dispatcher told a teenage girl, whose father had just been fatally struck by a car, to “stop whining.”
Rick Warrick, 38, a car salesman from Washington, D.C., was headed to Dave and Buster’s at a mall in Maryland when his tire went flat. He and his fiancée pulled to the side of the highway and got out of the car to change the tire.
At around 9:15 p.m., Warrick was tightening the lugs on the tire, about to complete the job and continue on his way. Suddenly, an oncoming car struck him and his fiancée. The car did not stop. The man's fiancée, 28-year-old Julia Pearce, suffered broken legs, a broken pelvis and a fractured skull. Warrick died at the scene.
Panicked, Warrick’s teenage daughter, who was in the car with her young brother, called 911 and attempted to tell the operator what happened.
“Can y'all please hurry up!” she asked.
“Ma'am, stop yelling, I need a location,” the operator responded. The teen then told him where they were.
“OK, 295, that's good. We're located now on a highway. Now that's a pretty long road,” the operator said. The frightened girl then tried to tell him that both her father and his fiancée were struck.
“Yes, they both..."
“OK, let's stop whining. OK, let's stop whining. It's hard to understand you... two people were struck, correct?” the operator said, interrupting the teen. “Is there someone else there I can talk to, because it's so hard…”
Anne Arundel County Fire Department rep Russ Davis admitted that the operator could’ve used a better choice of words.
“However, what he was attempting to do was to get her attention, to start ascertaining information from her,” Davis said. “It was pretty clear at that point they didn't know where they were.
“There could be a better choice of words.”
No description of the vehicle that his Warrick and Pearce has been provided, though an investigation is ongoing.