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An emergency responder was killed Tuesday after an ambulance was involved in a crash with an tractor trailer in front of a hospital.
The incident occurred in front of Carolinas Medical Center-Union along U.S. 74 in Monroe, just before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.
A tractor trailer truck driven by Wallace Kenneth Murphy, Jr. of Madison, NC was traveling westbound on US 74 when it collided with an ambulance as the ambulance pulled into the roadway, police told WBTV.
WBTV has learned that the ambulance was a part of the Sandhills Ambulance Service out of Cheraw, South Carolina.
Officials from the company confirmed to WBTV that an EMT employee was killed in the crash.
WBTV has learned that the employee, later identified as 43-year-old Belinda Gayle Rivers, was riding in the passenger seat of the ambulance.
Lynn Hinson pulled up to the scene seconds after the crash.
"I was going to try to get her out, but it was too much she was pinned in, there was nothing I could do," said Hinson.
The driver of the ambulance, Jonathan Cory Brown of Cheraw, was injured in the crash. He was transported to CMC-Main in Charlotte for his injuries. He is listed in stable condition.
The driver of the tractor trailer suffered no injuries from the collision, police say.
There were no patients on board in the ambulance. It was en route to the hospital to pick up a patient when the crash occurred.
At on point, nearly a dozen EMS workers, firefighters and police gathered around Rivers to pray before her body was taken away from the scene.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the members of this ambulance service as well," said Ron Fowler, Chief of Monroe Fire Department.
Union County Communications says U.S. 74 was shut down because of the crash until 3:30 p.m.
Monroe Police Chief Debra Duncan said that the investigation is continuing as witnesses are still being questioned. There have been no charges filed at this time.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Unit is assisting the Monroe Traffic Unit with the investigation.