Police: Ambulance driver may have fallen asleep in crash that killed Mishawaka medic
A paramedic from Mishawaka died in an accident where state police say the driver of the ambulance fell asleep at the wheel.
Police say it happened Monday morning around 3:45 a.m. on U.S. 31 in Miami County.
Indiana State Police told WSBT 22 it's still under investigation.
An emergency vehicle driver and EMT with Wakarusa-based Tri-County Ambulance allegedly fell asleep prior to the crash.
Now a Mishawaka family is remembering their loved one.
"It is a sad day when someone loses their life, especially someone working in the first responder field,” said Sergeant Tony Slocum of the Indiana State Police Peru Post.
Public servants say they're mourning one of their own: 32-year-old paramedic Musa Chaban of Mishawaka.
Indiana State Police say he died doing what he loved, transporting a mother and infant from a South Bend hospital to Indianapolis early Monday morning.
“[He] was just trying to make his community a little better. And trying to comfort an infant and make sure they were receiving medical care they deserve," said Slocum.
Chaban was in the back of a Tri-County Ambulance that was traveling south on U.S. 31 at State Road 218 in Miami County when police say the driver of the ambulance, Christine Wesner, failed to stop for a red light and hit a car with two people inside.
"Early indications are it was the driver falling asleep that caused the crash, not necessarily driving at a rapid pace trying to get to Indianapolis,” said Slocum.
He says both Chaban and Wesner worked for Tri-County Ambulance Service based in Wakarusa. A check of Indiana Department of Homeland Security records shows Chaban was a state-certified paramedic.
WSBT 22 reached out to Tri-County Ambulance Service. A woman who answered the phone at the building told WSBT 22, "No comment, we are not speaking to the press right now."
In a statement, a family spokesperson says they'll miss Chaban. They said:
"Musa was an amazing young man. Always smiling and so full of life. He left behind him a widow, a loving family and a beautiful soul that will forever live with us."
Slocum says no one else was seriously hurt and says Chaban's final act was serving others.
"It's a tragic scene all the way around. But like I said, our hearts go out to everyone involved," said Slocum.
The ambulance was not running emergency lights or sirens because Slocum told WSBT 22 they were transporting and appear to have been driving the normal speed.
The mom and infant appear to be OK and were released at the scene.