Power Outage Factor in Fatal Ambulance-SUV Crash

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By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News Reporter

AKRON, Ohio -- An accident involving an ambulance just feet from Akron General Medical Center has claimed the life of an Akron man.

An American Medical Response ambulance collided with an SUV at the corner of Cedar Street and Wabash Avenue, just after 3 a.m. Thursday.

A power outage meant the traffic light at the intersection wasn't working, and the result was fatal.

Collins Green, 57, a backseat passenger in the SUV, was killed almost instantly.

"I was shocked," says Green's older brother Lennie. "They said he was gone before he even got to the hospital, even though they worked on him. I imagine they were trying to revive him."

Lennie Green recalled his brother's carefree spirit.

"Collins would keep you laughing all day long. His sense of humor and he's very social," Lennie Green said.

But grief and devastation have now taken over the family.

Collins was one of 12 siblings and a Kent State University graduate who spent some time as a substitute teacher in Akron and Barberton.

His brother told FOX 8 Collins was just starting to overcome health issues.

"He has some health problems, but he was working through those--going to see his doctor regularly. He was doing fine, so for this to happen was just a shock. It really is," Lennie explained.

Now the family is left with questions, as are investigators.

"Did someone run the actual light? Did they stop when the light was out--it then becomes a 4-way stop--did they actually stop and then proceed through the intersection?" asked Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards.

Edwards says the ambulance didn't have its lights and siren on because it wasn't transporting an emergency. But the panicked moments that followed are a tragic reminder that this might have been prevented.

"We need to remind people that when the power's out, make sure that you stop at each traffic signal and treat it as a stop sign," Lt. Edwards warned.

According to police, no one in the ambulance was hurt and the driver and two other passengers in the SUV reported minor injuries.  Collins wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

The accident is still under investigation.