Updated 10:36 a.m. to include status of Daniela Affolter and Nicola Affolter.
ST. GEORGE – Yesterday evening an ambulance from Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. traveling westbound on Utah state Route 9 at an estimated speed of 60 mph collided with a Dodge Caravan on 3400 West by Wal-Mart in Hurricane City. The minivan was traveling through the intersection on a green light. Impact speed was estimated at 45-50 mph. There were multiple injuries, most critical being those sustained by an 8-year-old from Switzerland.
The ambulance, a Ford F450 4-door with stand-up medical unit, was driven by EMT Lizze Barlow of Colorado City and was carrying seven people. It was transporting a stroke victim, Ben Barlow, to Intermountain Healthcare’s Dixie Regional Medical Center, and carried the patient’s wife, Martha Barlow, and EMTs and paramedics treating the patient, Dan Barlow, Micah Barlow, Jesse Barlow, and Fawnetta Barlow.
The minivan was a rental out of California and carried four people from Switzerland. It was driven by Christian Affolter; his passengers included his family, Daniela Affolter in the front, 8-year-old Serena Affolter in the rear passenger seat behind the driver’s seat, and 12-year-old Nicola Affolter in the rear passenger seat on the right.
As the minivan entered the intersection on a green light, and began making a left turn to go eastbound, the ambulance entered the intersection going westbound and T-boned the minivan.
The rear passenger door of the minivan took the majority of the impact, causing 8-year-old Serena extremely critical injuries. She was not breathing but had a pulse and was transported to Dixie Regional by ambulance, where an airway was established for her. She was then transported by Life Flight helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Utah Highway Patrol trooper Dan Altenes said Sunday morning that the hospital reports Serena remains in critical condition, she is not breathing on her own, has a fractured leg as well as head injuries, her blood pressure and heartbeat are strong; there is no additional prognosis at this time.
Nicola Affolter, 12, suffered a lacerated spleen. Daniela Affolter, the mother, suffered a dislocated shoulder. Both Nicola and Daniela remain at Dixie Regional Sunday, Daniela is expected to be released later today. And Christian Affolter, the driver and father, suffered a laceration to the forehead. Christian accompanied his daughter Serena to Las Vegas in the helicopter.
Those in the ambulance also suffered injuries: Dan Barlow suffered a dislocated shoulder, Micah Barlow a minor hip injury, Jesse Barlow a minor rib injury and the stroke victim being transported, Ben Barlow, suffered a laceration to the forehead and received stitches. All other EMTs and the stroke patient’s wife, Martha, were treated and released at Dixie Regional.
Ambulance Driver Lizzie Barlow was issued a citation for traffic Control Signal Violation (red light) Utah Code 41-6a-305. Altenes said he did not know if any additional charges would be brought, that being the purview of the county attorney.
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