Ambulance Stolen from St. Louis Hospital While Medical Personnel Try to Save Crash Victim

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS An ambulance idling outside the emergency department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital was stolen early Monday while medical personnel tried to save the paramedics critically injured patient.

The full-size ambulance, owned by MedStar of Belleville, was used to transport the patient from a one-car accident that occured about 1:50 a.m. on Illinois Route 3 in Fairmont City. Kristen M. Treat, 31, of St. Louis, was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

While paramedics were still inside the hospital, someone jumped into the ambulance shortly before 3 a.m. and drove away. The paramedics hadnt set a lock that secures the ambulance while it is idling.

The patient was in such critical condition they wanted to get her into the hospital quickly, said Tim Brown, Medstar operations manager.

The ambulance was found three hours later at 15th Street and College Avenue . Brown said the ambulance did not appear to have been damaged or ransacked, and the keys were left on the drivers seat.

Brown said at least one witness saw the theft of the ambulance, which also was recorded by security cameras. Brown said the thief, a woman, apparently had been a patient in the emergency department and needed a ride home. …