Penn Hills paramedic dies after ambulance crash in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A Penn Hills paramedic died after the ambulance he was driving crashed Sunday night in Pittsburgh.

First responders were called to Fifth Avenue and Morewood Avenue in Shadyside just after 11 p.m.

When Pittsburgh medics arrived on the scene, they found Nick Theofilis, 23, in cardiac arrest.

Theofilis was sent to a hospital in life-threatening condition. He died as a result of his injuries, according to a release from Penn Hills officials.

A man riding in the passenger seat of the ambulance suffered head trauma, facial lacerations and a possible concussion. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

“This tragic incident underscores the dangers first responders face each and every day on the job. No call is an ordinary call and paramedics, police, and firefighters put the lives of strangers ahead of their own as they serve their fellow residents without question or hesitation. Pittsburgh Public Safety supports Penn Hills EMS during this extremely difficult time,” said Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt.

“As Chief of Pittsburgh EMS, this hits hard. The loss of one of our brothers or sisters in the emergency medical services field is a loss for all of us. The Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS is feeling this deeply. We are reminded of the fragility of life on a daily basis and this tragedy is no exception. We stand with Penn Hills EMS and offer our heartfelt sympathies and ongoing support as the department mourns one of its own,” said Pittsburgh EMS Chief Ronald Romano.

The driver of a separate vehicle had stomach pain and was also taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Police said there were no patients in the ambulance at the time of the crash.

The Penn Hills EMS supervisor told Channel 11 Theofilis was well known. She said he was a paramedic for Penn Hills and White Oak as well as a volunteer firefighter and an Eagle Scout. She said he was dedicated to serving his community.

Pittsburgh Public Safety said a third vehicle was struck as a result of the initial collision.

Pittsburgh police are investigating.

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