Brendan Bessee Killed, Two Injured in Ambulance/Truck Accident on SR 87 in Mesa, AZ
Mesa, AZ -- April 8, 2022, paramedic Brendan Bessee was killed when an ambulance collided with a tractor-trailer on State Route 87 in Mesa.
Authorities say the incident happened Friday afternoon on Route 87 near McDowell Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Bessee was driving an ambulance with its emergency lights on, headed to a call, when he attempted to make a turn onto Route 87 from another road. As the ambulance turned it was hit by an oncoming 18-wheeler.
Bessee suffered fatal injuries in the collision. Another paramedic in the ambulance suffered critical injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The truck driver was also hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Brendan Bessee Accident on Route 87 in Mesa
The preliminary details of this crash are quite concerning. On the one hand we see an ambulance with its lights and siren active trying to get to an active call, which as most people know means everyone is supposed to stop or get out of the way. On the other hand investigators noted the ambulance driver is still required to operate the vehicle with due diligence and care, suggesting they feel he may not have done so in Mesa.
So should the truck driver have noticed the ambulance approaching and stopped, or was the EMT driving with less caution than was warranted at the time? Perhaps a combination of those factors was to blame, but that would make assessing fault and liability more difficult--in no small part because commercial trucking firms are notorious for refusing any share of the blame if they can successfully argue their way out of it. That stubbornness has frustrated many injured victims who believed a company would see what happened, own its part in it, and do what was right.
I hope that further careful investigation can shed some helpful light on what happened here and what if anything should come next. As investigators work to put more of the puzzle together I strongly discourage jumping to conclusions or pointing any fingers. It's important that only objective facts tell the story to ensure the victim's loved ones get the truth.