Police say excessive speed likely cause of ambulance crash that ejected & killed two on I-40 Friday night

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Patient Nyema Jackson, 36, and paramedic Zachary Pruitt, 36, were killed after they were ejected from the rear of an ambulance during a crash on I-40 Friday night. Excessive speed for the road conditions is the preliminary ruling on the cause of the wreck.

The Madison County Ambulance was on I-40 East transporting the patient to Vanderbilt. When it was near the Charlotte Pike exit, when it negotiated a curve on the interstate and left the roadway to the right and struck a rock wall. The rear of the ambulance sustained significant damage, and the paramedic and patient in the back were ejected.  The ambulance eventually came to rest back in the travel lanes of I-40. MNFD transported the two ejected to Vanderbilt after receiving CPR on scene, however they died at the hospital.

The driver of the ambulance, 55-year-old Deborah Schichtel, told officers that she hydroplaned. She received minor injuries and was also treated at Vanderbilt. Witnesses report that no emergency lights were on at the time of the accident.  Preliminary investigations results are ruling the wreck a result of excessive speed for the road and weather conditions.

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