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Indian-origin emergency health worker dies in traffic crash


New York: A 22-year-old Indian-origin emergency health worker in New Jersey died on the spot when a car slammed into an ambulance in East Brunswick, police said.

Hinal Patel and the ambulance’s driver, Mark Seube, were driving west with their lights and sirens on yesterday morning while hurrying to an accident elsewhere in the town south of Staten Island, said East Brunswick police Lt. Kevin F Zebro.

But a 2013 Toyota Prius t-boned the ambulance as the emergency team drove through the intersection. The ambulance crashed down on its side and careened into another car, Zebro was quoted as saying by New York Daily News.

Patel died in the collision, but Seube and the driver of the Prius, Kathleen Meade, suffered only non-life threatening injuries, according to police. The driver of the third car was not hurt in the crash.

Police have not arrested or charged anyone in the fatal accident, WABC-TV reported.

Family members and friends of Patel, who lived in nearby Piscataway and received her degree in biological sciences from Rutgers earlier this year, are trying to come to terms with her tragic death, they told NJ Advance Media.

“She was the most amazing person I ever knew,” said Bianca Patel, a close friend who is not related to her. “She’s saved thousands and thousands of people. … I just wish someone had a chance to help her.”

Hinal Patel planned to pursue medical school to become a physician or physician’s assistant after her graduate programme, but she had been working as an EMT for the North Stelton Volunteer Fire Company since September 2012.

She volunteered for five years at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick before she started with North Stelton, the North Stelton company said in a statement.

Her hometown firefighters draped black bunting over their building and one of the company’s ambulances in her honour on Saturday.

“Hinal was a very smart, dedicated member of our family and she will be greatly missed,” the company’s statement said.

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