A 22-year-old emergency medical technician was killed in an ambulance accident in New Jersey Saturday morning on what was supposed to be her last day on the job before starting medical school.
Hinal Patel, of Piscataway, died in the crash, which occurred at about 8 a.m. as she and another EMT were heading to the scene of a car accident in East Brunswick, police said. The Spotswood ambulance had its emergency lights and sirens operating at the time.
A car struck the ambulance, causing it to flip over and hit another car near the intersection of Ryder Lane and Cranbury Road in East Brunswick, police said.
Julius Bellafronte, a witness to the crash, said it sounded "like an explosion."
Patel was planning to start medical school soon after completing what was to be her last shift as an EMT Saturday, Spotswood EMS Director Miriam Barbarise told NBC 4 New York.
"We're really heartbroken right now," she said. "Words can't describe how everybody, including my employees and myself, how we're all feeling."
Patel graduated in May from Rutgers University where she studied cell biology and neuroscience. She had planned to return to Rutgers to attend the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, officials said.
Mark Seube of Hamilton, who was driving the ambulance, and Kathleen Meade of East Brunswick, the driver of the car that struck the ambulance, were taken to a hospital with non-lifethreatening injuries, authorities said.
The crash remains under investigation, officials said.