NICU transport team hurt in ambulance accident - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Doctor in critical condition after ambulance crash


FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WKOW) -- As of Thursday morning, Theda Clark Medical Center says a neonatal physician is in critical condition after suffering a head injury in an ambulance accident.

The accident happened on Hwy 26 near Rosendale.  A Meriter Neonatal Intensive Care unit was on its way to Appleton to bring a baby to Madison, when it flipped over.

Two other crew members had minor injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The hospital is still looking into the accident.


FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WKOW) – A neonatal physician is still in the hospital with a severe head injury after an ambulance crashed Wednesday afternoon.

The accident happened on Hwy 26 near Rosendale, after Meriter's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was on its way to pick up a baby in Appleton and bring it to Madison. The ambulance missed a curve and rolled over, injuring three of its five crew members, according to a hospital spokesman.

Med flight transported the neonatal doctor on board to the nearest trauma center, Theta Clark Medical Center in Neenah.

Police say the dangerous curve is to blame.

"This curve has been an ongoing problem for us. We seem to have quite a few accidents here on Hwy 26 with the volume of traffic and everything," said Sergeant John Toney, of the Fond du Lac Sheriff's Office.

Meriter officials say the ambulance is new and did not have its siren or emergency lights on at the time of the accident, as it was not in an emergency situation. Officials are not releasing the driver's name yet; however, they say he was an experienced ambulance driver and was also a driving instructor.

"This was a freak accident. This had nothing to do with speeding or rushing through traffic. This was a one vehicle accident on hwy 26 in the rural part of the country," Meriter spokesman Mike Flaherty said. 

Ambulance accidents are rare. At fewer than 15 crashes per year, they make up less than .01 percent of traffic accidents in the state, according to the most recent data by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. And only about a third of them involve injuries.

However, accidents on this curve on Hwy 26 near Willow Creek seem more common. Meriter's ambulance crash makes the fourth one on this curve since the beginning of 2013, according to police.

"We dedicate an officer to this highway at least four hours a day and it's usually driver error that is the problem. Everybody is just in a hurry," Toney said.

At press time, Flaherty did not have more information about the doctor's condition.

"We're all just on pins and needles hoping that the physician's injuries aren't life threatening or debilitating in any way," Flaherty said.

The other two crew members had minor injuries and went to nearby hospitals in Fond du Lac County for treatment.

Flaherty says the baby's procedure has also been rescheduled.


FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WKOW) -- A Meriter Neonatal Intensive Care Unit transport ambulance was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 26 near Rosendale early Wednesday afternoon.

The five-member NICU transport team was on their way to pick up a NICU patient in Appleton.

Three of the team members -- two of them are from UW Health -- were injured in the accident. 

Michael Flaherty, spokesman for Meriter Health Services says a neonatal physician was flown to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah with head injuries.  A registered nurse was taken to a Fond du Lac hospital with minor injuries. A neonatal nurse practitioner was taken to St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac with minor injuries, according to a UW Health spokesman.

Flaherty also says two other passengers, including the driver, were uninjured when they were responding to a non-emergency situation.  No patients were on board.


FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WKOW) -- Three people are injured after an accident involving an ambulance.

It happened south of Rosendale.

A Sheriff Department official says the ambulance was traveling northbound on Highway 26 near Willow Creek Road when it failed to negotiate a curve, hit a culvert and then rolled.

The driver was not injured, but three of the four passengers in the back were hurt. No patients were on board.

A neo-natal physician was taken by medical helicopter to Theda Care Medical Center in Neenah for a significant head injury.

Meriter Hospital says a registered nurse was taken to a Fond du Lac hospital with minor injuries and a respiratory therapist was taken to a hospital in Waupun with minor injuries.

A hospital spokesman says the transport team was on its way to pick up a neo-natal intensive care unit patient in Appleton.

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