James Hvamstad Killed, One Injured in Ambulance Accident on I-20 in Ruston, LA
Ruston, LA -- January 31, 2022, 29-year-old James Hvamstad was killed in a collision with an ambulance on Interstate 20 in Ruston.
Authorities say the incident happened around 5:00 a.m. on westbound I-20 near exit 83 to Tarbutton Road. Preliminary investigation suggests only that an ambulance crashed into the back of Hvamstad's Jeep and at least one of the vehicles caught fire.
Hvamstad was killed in the crash. A passenger in the Jeep was airlifted to a Shreveport hospital. No other injuries were reported.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on James Hvamstad Accident on I-20 in Ruston
It's not clear yet why exactly this crash occurred, and learning the specifics of the accident is important before anyone jumps to conclusions. Some may already have decided that because one vehicle rear-ended another that the striking driver is automatically to blame, while others are more likely to pardon an ambulance driver and seeking something else to blame due to the important work medical technicians typically do.
Instead of jumping to conclusions, it's generally better to seek out more information and best understand what happened. For instance: What is lighting like in that area? What about sightlines? What were the traffic patterns like in the area? Were both vehicles using their lights? Reports say the ambulance had a non-critical patient; were its emergency lights activated on its way to the hospital? How fast were both vehicles going? Did the ambulance driver see the Jeep? If not, why not? Could they have been distracted? Too worn out to drive more carefully?
These are just a few of the additional concerns that must be addressed while determining exactly what happened and who may be to blame for the injuries and tragic fatality suffered. Some people might have made up their minds without considering these variables, but that's what I mean about jumping to conclusions: There are still far too many unknowns here for anyone to say who's to blame. I've encountered numerous cases where people rushed to prematurely judge one party or the other after reading a vague news release, only for details to come to light that completely changed their minds. The same thing could certainly happen here, though there's no guarantee that a "by the book" police investigation will clarify things as much as one might hope.
After a major accident, particularly one involving a commercial vehicle like a privatized ambulance, I almost always suggest an independent investigation to make sure all the facts are found. Whatever they reveal, those involved deserve to know that every effort was made to uncover all the answers. Any further action will depend largely on investigators' findings.