Woman killed after jumping out of ambulance in East Bay

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a fatal pedestrian accident on the connector between two major interstates in the East Bay that started with a simple ambulance ride.

It was a transport call, an ambulance ride for a patient from Valley Care Medical Center in Pleasanton to a psychiatric facilty in San Leandro, but it all changed when the patient became agitated and ended up, on foot, on connector ramp between Interstates 680 and 580.

"The patient was being transported the patient got out of the ambulance," said California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Roberts, "And was walking in the traffic lanes."

Pleasanton police say it's the same woman they detained early Monday morning for reckless driving and hitting a pedestrian and several cars in the area of 5300 Case Avenue.

But she was not arrested, despite having to be restrained and tasered by Pleasanton police. Instead, she was placed on a psychiatric detainer and taken to Valley Care.

According to Pleasanton police Lt. Erik Silacci, at approximately 7 a.m. Monday morning, she was being transported from Valley Care to San Leandro.

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Barry Sutherland, a co-owner of NorCal Ambulance told us the patient was secured with several restraints -- seatbelts basically -- when she became agitated and unhooked the belts on westbound Interstate 580.

"As the driver was pulling the ambulance over on the freeway safely," Sutherland told ABC7 News, "The patient got out of all the restraints, overcame, and pushed the attendant in the back of the ambulance out of the way, and went and opened the locked doors of the ambulance and exited."

According to the CHP, two cars managed to swerve and miss the woman, who appeared to be trying to jump in front of traffic before she was struck by a third vehicle.

"The girl ran out this way and she ran right in front of my truck," said one driver.

The co-owner of the ambulance company told us his EMT's followed proper procedures in their use of safety belts for the patient.

"And if there's anything we can do to improve our practices we will," said Sutherland, "But at this point our crew worked very hard. We're very proud of them for what they did and they're very distraught over the situation understandably."

The CHP is investigating the incident. So far, the Alameda County Coroner's office has yet to release to the name of the victim.

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