Ambulance and Truck Collide


An ambulance and EPD wait at the scene of an accident between another ambulance and a truck. [Photo provided by Vickie Palmer]

An ambulance and a truck collided this evening. A second ambulance had to be called to transport the patient in the first ambulance to the hospital.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:15 p.m. when a truck and an ambulance were involved in an accident near the intersection of Buhne and J Streets in Eureka. The truck overturned. The ambulance was damaged.



  • Was the ambulance running code 3?

  • That intersection is horrid. My mom had a terrible accident there not long ago. I’ve seen quite a few over time. Guess it’s no good to put a sign right after a light. Idk…

  • In general, whichever vehicle was traveling on J St, the cross street in this photo, had a stop sign and was required to yield the right of way to any vehicles approaching on Buhne. 21802(a) VC. That assumes it was a “t-bone” crash.

    However if the ambulance was going Code 3, other vehicles were required to yield the right of way to them regardless of which street either was on. 21806 VC.

    • I do love how in your world, drivers not only both know and follow the rules of the road, but know what’s going on around them too…

  • @General Rule.
    Yes and no. Going code 3 (There’s no such thing as code 2 in the law) , after coming to a full stop at any red light or stop sign, an ambulance can proceed against the light, it can also impede the normal flow of through traffic but not if an accident occurs. If that happens, the red lights and siren don’t protect the ambulance driver. At that point, it becomes a matter for the courts.

  • Bottom line is an ambulance going code 3 can request the right of way but cannot DEMAND the right of way.

  • Ok maybe not law,but when my uncle worked as an emt,code 3 lights and siren, code 2 lights only.maybe things have changed.just sayin

  • Code 2 is a police term for running lights and no siren that is not legal for ambulances.

    On the ambulance we used to say Code 2 is “No lights, no siren, but don’t stop for a burger on the way. Running lights but no siren and getting in a crash for any reason won’t go well for anyone who’s driving the ambulance.

    Basically, there’s “no-code” or Code 1 (Follow all traffic laws) and Code 3 legally. Beyond that, it might be done and it might make sense, but if you’re driving that ambulance, don’t get in any wrecks.

    Having said that, I did it all the time, because trying to operate a radio, drive code 3 and not being able to hear over a wailing siren, understand the radio or your partner who is working in the back all at the same time, is dangerous too. Plus it’s very difficult for the driver to hear traffic approaching who may not be able to hear your siren. (Sirens are a false sense of security).

    I accepted the risk of running lights and no siren often and tried to be extra careful. I lucked out and had a long, crash free career. Go me! I really preferred to work in the back though, driving is too much responsibility.

    I hope whoever was in the unit at Buhner and J were uninjured and the driver isn’t in trouble. You guys be careful out there.

  • Knew it was something like that.thanks

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