Man charged after stealing ambulance, crashing into pedestrian, said police

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 9:27 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis police arrested a man who is accused of stealing an ambulance and causing multiple crashes on Wednesday.

James Miller, 33, is charged with theft of property, reckless driving, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, and no driver’s license.

MPD responded to an auto theft at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital at 7:45 p.m.

Officers say Miller tried to enter the trauma hall. When he couldn’t get in, he stole a Crittenden County ambulance, said police.

Miller is accused of running a red light, hitting a pedestrian, and driving off.

Professionals in the medical field cite this incident being a very uncommon occurrence.

“I don’t recall an incident like that happening before or someone has stolen vehicle in left the parking lot,” said Hudson Hallum Owner/EMS Director at Crittenden EMS.

Memphis police recovered the ambulance seven miles away but not before Miller ran a red light, hit a pedestrian on Goodlett Street, and caused multiple crashes along Perkins Extended.

“It’s most likely a total loss. There was severe damage done to the front of the ambulance,” said Hallum.

According to the Crittenden County EMS health and safety manual, crews are recommended to lock vehicles at all times, unless extraordinary circumstances exist or a patient’s safety supersedes the ability to secure the vehicle.

“Which was the instance last night they were transporting a critically injured juvenile that had been struck by a vehicle, their number one priority was to get the patient inside the Bonheur to the trauma team, and not delay that,” said Hallum.

Officials say the internal safety committee can review the incident and determine if any policy changes are needed.

“When something happens, we have to review it, make a decision,” said Hallum. “Is there something that we need to do better? is there a better way that we can secure the vehicle in emergency situations,” said Hallum.

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