Family and friends are mourning a 22-year-old New Jersey EMT who was killed on what was supposed to be her last day on the job when a car collided with an ambulance responding to a call over the weekend.
Hinal Patel, of Piscataway, was in the Spotswood ambulance's front passenger seat at the time of the Saturday-morning crash. Authorities say the Piscataway resident and a colleague were on their way to assist at a car accident in East Brunswick.
The ambulance had its emergency lights and sirens activated, and no patients were inside.
Police say a car driven by 58-year-old Kathleen Meade of East Brunswick struck the ambulance in an intersection, overturning the emergency vehicle and causing it to slide into another car.
Meade and the ambulance driver were treated at hospitals.
A funeral for Patel was held Monday.
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.