It was a call just after midnight that has shaken first responders across northern New York. They were called to rescue their own.
"It's like a nightmare," said Chris Trombley with Champlain EMS.
Just like he had done hundreds of times over the years for Champlain EMS, Eric Monty, 45, was driving a patient to the hospital to be treated for chest pains. Two EMTs, both unbelted, were in the back of the ambulance treating the patient. But the trip took a tragic detour on a slight curve on the Military Turnpike in Altona.
"The ambulance continued straight down the embankment and actually came back up onto the road and came back onto the roadway," N.Y. State Police Capt. Brent Gillam said.
Right after the accident, the patient who was being transported to the hospital ran across the street and pounded on the door of a home to wake up the homeowner and asked them to call 911. He was banged up and was not wearing a shirt or shoes.
"It's until something like this happens that you realize this is a risky business," Trombley said.
Monty, the driver, was dead. The patient, Gary Lamarche, 55, and one of the EMTs, Susan Roberts, 52, are in stable condition at the hospital. Roberts is Monty's sister. The other EMT, Peter Coulombe, 26, is in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury.
"We are humans like everybody else," Trombley said. "We are out helping people and sometimes we become victims, too, and that is hard to swallow."
The autopsy revealed Monty suffered a fatal heart attack behind the wheel and police say that caused the crash.
"There is no indication the ambulance was going any faster than it should have been at the time," Gillam said.
Monty will be remembered for his commitment, willing to get behind the wheel of an ambulance at any hour of the day. He leaves behind a daughter, who also just lost her mother.
"Eric was a special kind of person," Trombley said. "He had a lot struggles personally. He lost his wife to cancer a couple of years ago. I think he saw the difference EMS made through the years as EMS helped his wife."
A volunteer who lost his life doing his job saving lives.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:45 PM EST2013-12-11 00:45:37 GMT
"Today I am proud to launch Connect Vermont, an initiative to deliver by 2013 my promise of high-speed internet access and cell service to every corner of our state," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont,More >>
In a few weeks, Gov. Peter Shumlin will become the second Vermont governor to fall short on a pledge to bring cellphone and high-speed internet access to every Vermonter that wants it. What's the next step to connect the state? More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-11 01:00:14 GMT
Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. The DGA held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Monday, where the governor was uncontestedMore >>
Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:48 PM EST2013-12-11 00:48:09 GMT
Vermonters who didn't pay ticket prices of up to $10,000 to hear New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak during an upcoming visit likely won't get to hear him via the media.More >>
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will make a stop in Vermont Wednesday to address nearly 700 Republican Party members. The Essex Jct. event is sold out, but there aren't any media outlets on the guest list. Melissa Howell explains why.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:51 PM EST2013-12-11 00:51:05 GMT
When Vermont received an F from the Center For Public Integrity for financial disclosure requirements for state Supreme Court justices, it didn't ruffle too many feathers. "We weren't surprised by theMore >>
Vermont was one of many states that received a failing grade for what is required for financial disclosure for state Supreme Court justices. Some civil rights organizations say it's just a small part of an even bigger problem for the state.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:41 AM EST2013-12-10 16:41:55 GMT
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store. Police say at about 9:45 p.m. Monday, a man entered the South Main Grocery and displayed a weapon. He left the storeMore >>
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:28 PM EST2013-12-10 20:28:00 GMT
Fast food and quick cash? Police say a couple targeted McDonald's in Morrisville Monday night. Investigators say David McNab, 25, and Anna Gilchrist, 23, tried to rob the restaurant at about 9 p.m. TheirMore >>
Police say a man and woman face tried to rob the McDonald's in Morrisville Monday night.More >>