An emergency medical technician responding to a call died after being struck head-on by a car Thursday morning in Forsyth County, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
Shortly before 7 a.m., the Central EMS ambulance was traveling east on Ga. 20 in the center lane, according to investigators. The ambulance, which had its emergency equipment including lights and siren activated, was in the turn lane to avoid other vehicles, the GSP said.
A tractor-trailer pulling a tanker trailer yielded to the ambulance and came to a complete stop. But the driver of a green Ford Mustang had been following the tractor-trailer too closely, and the driver swerved into the turn lane to avoid a crash, the GSP said.
Instead, the Mustang struck the ambulance head-on, investigators said. A black Dodge Ram pickup truck that was behind the Mustang was also hit, according to the GSP.
The driver of the ambulance, Gina Ayres of Cumming, and the Mustang’s driver, 48-year-old Blanco Fermin Rodolfo, also of Cumming, were both taken to Wellstar North Fulton Hospital in critical condition, the GSP said.
Ayres later died from her injuries. She was 57.
“Gina was a beloved member of the Central EMS family, and we are devastated by her loss,” the company said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with Gina’s family and colleagues throughout this difficult time.”
Charges are pending against Rodolfo as the investigation continues, a GSP spokeswoman said.
The ambulance had no patients on board at the time of the crash and a passenger was not injured, investigators said.
The pickup truck driver was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, the GSP said.
The deadly crash closed the road for about two hours.
Ayres had worked for Central EMS for 12 years and was certified as an EMT in 2010, according to a company spokeswoman. She was remembered by colleagues as being extremely dedicated to her profession.
“Gina is described by her colleagues as a caring, compassionate and dedicated EMS professional who wanted nothing more than to serve her community,” Central EMS said. “She had a huge personality, and words cannot describe how strong, passionate and loving she was. Gina also had a heart for children and the less fortunate, volunteering at local schools and sitting with patients in nursing homes.”
Ayres is survived by her husband, who works as a Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy, and two daughters, Central EMS said. Funeral arrangements were pending.
“Her dedication and service is an example we wish to highlight and remember with the highest degree of dignity and honor,” the Forsyth County fire department said in a social media post Thursday evening.