EMS Driver Charged In Fatal Ambulance Accident

A Johnston County EMS worker has been charged with death by motor vehicle following a fatal collision earlier this year in Downtown Smithfield.

On April 23rd, Smithfield Police said 65 year-old Mickey Joe Crocker of Smithfield was walking across the entrance driveway at PNC Bank at 410 E. Market Street in Smithfield. Crocker was struck by an ambulance that was leaving the parking lot area and attempting to make a right turn onto E. Market Street.

According to an accident report, the driver of the ambulance, Hannah Jeanette Sylvester, 31, of Raleigh an employee of Johnston County EMS, told police she did not see the pedestrian because he was walking so close to the front of the emergency vehicle.  A witness said Crocker was walking past the driveway and saw the EMS ambulance stopped and waiting for traffic. The ambulance then drove forward and struck Crocker.  The witness said the ambulance had to reverse due to running over Crocker’s legs.

The ambulance was not on a call at the time of the accident. Two other EMS workers were in the vehicle.

A second ambulance responded to the scene and transported Crocker to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh for treatment. He died June 3rd at Moses H. Cone Hospital in Greensboro.  According to his death certificate, Crocker died from “complications from multiple blunt force injuries” after being “struck by a motor vehicle.”  According to his obituary, Crocker was a US Navy veteran.

Police Captain R. Sheppard said at the conclusion of a detailed investigation, and after consulting with the Johnston County District Attorney, Sylvester was cited on Dec. 7th with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.  She is scheduled to make her first court appearance on the charge on January 9, 2019.

Johnston County Emergency Services also conducting an internal investigation into the fatal accident.

Sylvester, who had been a part-time EMT Intermediate, was placed on administrative leave status on December 6th, according to Johnston County Human Resources Director Lu Hickey.