Off-duty EMT responds to crash involving self-driving car

Within minutes, Michael said he started preparing to render aid to those involved in the accident.
The self-driving vehicle had an occupant inside.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 5:55 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) An off-duty EMT was among the first to respond when a car came crashing into a Nashville apartment building earlier this week.

On Sunday, a self-driving vehicle operated by rideshare company Cruise was traveling in the area of 19th Avenue and Church Street when it reportedly got hit from the side.

The collision caused the vehicle to be pushed into the widows of 1818 Apartments.

Cruise said a safety driver was in the vehicle and driving at the time of the crash. The accident resulted in both motorists suffering injuries.

The crash’s impact was so loud it caught the attention of Michael, an Emergency Medical Technician who lives at the complex.

Within minutes, Michael said he started preparing to render aid to those involved in the accident.

“We were prepared with fire extinguishers, gloves, and things like that, but we knew instantly when we looked at the crash scene that EMS and fire needed to be called quickly to get that gentleman out before it lit on fire,” Michael said.

He says another neighbor, who also works in health care, tried offering assistance, but they determined it would have posed a safety risk to them and other tenants.

Instead, they tried keeping one of the drivers calm until paramedics arrived.

“Gentleman was pinned in the vehicle,” Michael said. “He wound talk somewhat, but he wasn’t by any means able to move. All of the airbags were deployed.”

In a statement released to WSMV, Cruise addressed safety concerns that this incident has brought to the forefront.

“Safety is at the core of everything we do,” a spokesperson said. “We are in touch with our safety driver, who was taken to the hospital, and we are appreciative of the support and effort by first responders in this incident.”

Eventually, the occupant inside the self-driving vehicle was extracted and taken to hospital for treatment. At this time, officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department have not said if any charges have been filed or the condition of the two drivers involved.

As the case remains under investigation, Michael encourages drivers to slow down on the roadways.

“A lot of folks are driving drunk around here,” he said. “A lot of folks are speeding, and a lot of folks don’t care about red lights or stop signs here, so we need to change that.”