|By Bryan Dean, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Samples pleaded guilty on
He also pleaded guilty to speeding in 2005. EMSA's requirements for employment include a clear criminal and traffic record, but EMSA officials said
"EMSA, rather than standing by a dedicated employee,
Samples, an emergency medical technician, was driving an ambulance
Police and court records indicate Samples was going 83 mph in a 40 mph zone at the time of the accident and was driving left of center.
EMSA officials said Tuesday that drivers are only allowed to go 10 mph over the posted speed limit during an emergency call and only if it would not endanger life or property.
Blau called that rule "an absurdity."
"Anybody that has ever seen an ambulance travel the streets of
EMSA's driving standards policy says drivers are never to exceed 80 miles per hour. It also says driving in oncoming lanes should be avoided. When unavoidable, an ambulance is to be driven no faster than 15 miles per hour in oncoming lanes. At the time of the accident, the ambulance was being driven to a priority two call, or one involving an emergency that is not life threatening.
Blau said Samples has been an emergency medical technician for about a year.
"He is absolutely devastated and heartbroken by the loss of life," Blau said. "His training and his employment is in saving people's lives."
(c)2011 The Oklahoman
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