First responder killed in Angelina County ambulance wreck
ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County Sheriff’s deputies and members of the Fuller Springs Volunteer Fire department responded to a two-vehicle wreck involving an EMT driving an Allegiance ambulance early this morning. Volunteer fireman Kent Childers described what he saw at the scene.
“The page came out initially as a med unit had rolled over versus another vehicle,” Childers said. “Arriving on the scene, we did confirm there was an ambulance that had left the roadway. He did turn over and there was also an SUV that had received major damage.”
EMT Joshua Zaborowski of Dayton, Texas was driving the ambulance. He was taking a patient from a residence in Jasper County to Lufkin. Zaborowski was pronounced dead at the scene at about 1 a.m.
“The roadway was blocked all the way across the highway,” Childers said. “There was debris blocking the highway in multiple lanes, and, of course ,the ambulance was off the roadway.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety said Zaborowski was driving north on U.S. Highway 69 when he veered into the southbound lane and struck a Chevy SUV. The ambulance continued on briefly before leaving the road and overturning. A passenger and the patient on board were taken to a Lufkin hospital, as was the driver of the Chevy. in a statement, Allegiance Mobile Health Chief Operating Officer Daniel Gillespie said it’s still unknown why Zaborowski crossed into oncoming traffic.
The wreck comes less than a week before the transition to Allegiance as the new EMS service provider for the county. One of the issues with the changeover has been that the volunteer fire departments want to make sure they are fully equipped with tools like Jaws of Life to handle these types of wrecks.
“You know January first, the City of Lufkin will no longer be responding into the county,” Childers said. “County volunteer fire departments will be doing this. So it does make it very clear to us how important it is to receive funding and to get these tools that are vitally needed for crashes just like this.”
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