JOLIET, Ill. — A man was charged Tuesday and is accused of stealing and then crashing an ambulance in Joliet.
Police received a call around 1:15 a.m. Thursday from Amita St. Joseph Medical Center reporting a stolen ambulance.
“The responding officer located the ambulance approximately a half a mile away from the hospital,” Sgt. Dwayne English said. “The officer tried to pull the man over … that’s when the chase began on Jefferson Street. The chase lasted a few short moments hitting a top speed of 70 miles per hour before it came to a crashing end.”
The ambulance struck an uninvolved vehicle and the ambulance lost control. It crashed through a guard rail, flipped over on its side and down an embankment toward Interstate 55.
The driver of the stolen ambulance, now identified as 58-year-old Henry McCall of Joliet, ran from the rolled over ambulance and was arrested.
He was taken back to the hospital before going to the Will County Detention Center on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing, obstructing a peace officer and driving with a suspended license.
“The investigation shows the keys were left inside the ambulance as it was parked at the ambulance bay at the hospital,” English said. “I’m sure these agencies are looking at these policies.”
The injuries to the man and the other driver were minor.
“I fear to think what would have happened had this gentleman done this at 1 p.m when you have many more people out and about and more vehicles on the roadway,” English said.
Joliet police say the Wilmington Fire Department ambulance has extensive damage and are still assessing if it’s able to eventually be put back in service.