A 23-year Orangeburg man was killed Sunday morning, when the car he was a passenger in collided with a Bamberg Rescue Squad ambulance that was transferring a mother and newborn baby to the Regional Medical Center.
Christopher Harrison died of injuries received in the 7:30 a.m. wreck on U.S. Highway 601 at Stilton Road, about a mile north of the Orangeburg city limits. Zachary M. Thomas, 22, of Orangeburg, the driver of the four-door Dodge that Harrison was a passenger in, was transported to Richland Memorial Hospital.
The unidentified mother and baby were reportedly doing well at the Regional Medical Center. The driver of the ambulance, Franklin Boardman Jr., was released from RMC; while paramedic Penny Skinner was being treated Sunday for a limb fracture. Also uninjured in the crash was an unidentified nurse from the Bamberg County Hospital, who was accompanying the mother and newborn infant to RMC.
"Everybody is okay," said Martha Hammett, operations manager for Bamberg Rescue Squad Inc., the agency contracted for EMS services in Bamberg County. "Both passengers, a mother and her new born baby, are both doing good. They were being transported to be admitted. She had just given birth at Bamberg Hospital."
According to Hammett, the transfer was a routine one in order for the mother and infant to receive OB/GYN and pediatric care.
Also, she said, it's the first accident involving a Bamberg ambulance in many years.
Lance Cpl. Trevor Clinton of the S.C. Highway Patrol reported alcohol was a factor in the wreck. Also, Harrison was not wearing a seatbelt.
The Orangeburg Coroner's Office could not be reached for comment.
The accident is being investigated by the Highway Patrol's MAIT (Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team).