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Auto accidents: Ambulance shortage might have caused fatality

A 61-year-old cyclist died in Hawaii on a recent Thursday afternoon, and some suggest that he might have survived if not for a shortage of ambulance services. Auto accidents that involve collisions with bicycles often turn out to be tragic because cyclists have no protection. The prompt attention of paramedics is usually the only chance of saving the life of a victim.

According to a preliminary crash report by Hawaii police, the incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at an intersection near the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport. Authorities say a 41-year-old pickup truck driver was northbound when he attempted to turn toward the airport. However, he allegedly failed to yield to the oncoming cyclist who was heading south.

Reportedly, the man on the bicycle smashed into the pickup truck's bed area. According to the battalion chief of Hawaii Fire, the two available ambulances at Kailua-Kona and Keauhou stations were out on other emergency calls at the time of the accident, and the only possible ambulance had to come from Captain Cook. This left the critically injured man without medical care for 15 minutes. Although he was rushed to a medical facility as soon as the paramedics arrived, he succumbed to his injuries later.

Losing loved ones in auto accidents are naturally traumatic experiences that are typically exacerbated by the unanticipated financial consequences. Surviving family members may seek recovery of damages by filing wrongful death claims in a civil court. In a case such as this one, an experienced personal injury attorney might explore the possibility of also filing a claim against authorities who failed to provide timely emergency care.

Source: westhawaiitoday.com, "Kailua-Kona cyclist dies after collision with truck by airport, police say", Tiffany DeMasters, Oct. 26, 2017

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