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Thursday, June 20, 2013

LESSONS LEARNED: Great reminder for everyone driving an emergency vehicle, Utah EMT to be tried for fatal code 3 ambulance wreck

Six people were injured and one was killed in the July 2012 accident

OGDEN, Utah — The ambulance driver police say caused a fatal multicar crash last summer has been ordered advanced to trial on a charge of negligent homicide.

Sean Reed Stephens-Applonie, 28, pleaded not guilty to the class A misdemeanor charge after a preliminary hearing Monday in 2nd District Court, where a judge ruled enough evidence existed to advance the case. A pretrial conference was set for July 17.

Applonie was driving a North Davis Fire District ambulance west on U.S. 89 with its lights and siren operating when a white Buick heading south on Sunset Drive entered the intersection on a green light and was struck by the ambulance, South Ogden police said. After hitting the Buick, the ambulance then struck both a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Camry.

Six people were injured, and Arline H. Logan, 88, a passenger in the Buick, was killed in the July 6, 2012, crash at the intersection just east of Ogden Regional Medical Center.

Two of Stephens’ fellow emergency responders and his passenger were among the injured, police said.

North Davis Fire District Chief Mark Becraft said Stephens-Applonie remains employed at his agency as well as the West Jordan Fire Department, where he also works as a firefighter-paramedic. He is not allowed to drive an ambulance, he said, pending the outcome of his criminal case.

Becraft said a number of Stephens-Applonie’s fellow firefighters attended his preliminary hearing Monday morning in court.

"They asked, and I told my guys they could go support their brother," he said. "It’s not a statement of wrong or right, just supporting a fellow firefighter at a difficult time."

Because of the complexity of the case, the formal charge was not filed against Stephens-Applonie until Jan. 23 of this year.

Copyright 2013 Standard-Examiner

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