An ambulance carrying a patient was on a routine transfer to Kitimat from Terrace on Jan. 30 when it went off of Hwy 37 near Johnson Road. (Dan McGuire/Photo)

Ambulance slides off of Hwy 37 near Terrace

A Kitimat patient was on board

A Kitimat youngster got more than he bargained for when a routine ambulance transfer from Terrace to Kitimat went horribly wrong last week.

Jay Maitland, who turns 19 this month, had been sent to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace for an MRI on Wednesday, January 29, after he started having seizures.

Following the scan, Jay was admitted for observation and loaded into an ambulance the following morning for transfer back to Kitimat General Hospital. After securely strapping Jay on the stretcher, the driver set off for Kitimat along Highway 37.

Jay was in the back of the ambulance with the second paramedic discussing Eminem’s latest album, the paramedic filling out paperwork, when the ambulance slid off the highway near Johnson Road on the way up the long hill leading to the Northwest Regional Airport, tumbling down the embankment into a ditch.

“When we went over I was hanging upside down from the stretcher as the ambulance flipped, stuff flying around inside the ambulance, before the ambulance straightened out,” said Jay.

He said “the new stretchers are really good” which is why he didn’t sustain any injuries.

“We waited for the Thornhill Fire Department to come. They picked us up with the ladder which was pretty cool.”

Unphased by his experience, he carried on talking to the paramedic about Eminem’s album while they were being brought up out of the ditch. He said the paramedics were “pretty awesome” and would consider becoming a paramedic, which he said is “a cool job.”

His mom Jenn Maitland, however, didn’t have as pleasant an experience as her son did.

”My experience was mainly seeing Facebook posts about the ambulance and not knowing if it was him in there or not. All the nurse could tell me was that everyone inside the ambulance had been checked out and there were no injuries,” said Jenn.

She said Mills Memorial staff kept telling her not to worry, which she said is “agony for a parent” and just made her worry more.

“It wasn’t until going on to 9 p.m. when I finally heard from him. They said they would be keeping him overnight until the roads were better.”

She said the paramedics deserved special mention for the way they helped Jay through the ordeal.

“He did say the driver felt bad about it but we don’t blame them in the least. We definitely need four-wheel-drive ambulances up here,” she added.

A very relieved mom was at Kitimat General Hospital when Jay’s ambulance arrived in Kitimat just before noon.

BC Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller confirmed the incident, adding that road conditions were very slushy at the time of the accident.

“Two paramedic crews from Terrace were called to the scene as were fire first responders, who helped with the patient, moving them to a waiting ambulance to take them back to the Terrace hospital,” said Miller.

“The paramedic crew, reported to be fine, were taken back to Kitimat.”

Miller said routine ambulance transfers were halted until conditions improved on the highway.

– with reporting by Rod Link

Email the newsroom

Visit our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter

auto accident

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jay Maitland at Kitimat General Hospital the day he returned from Mills Memorial. (Photo supplied)

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Tamitik Status of Women granted $500,000 to support housing construction project

The funds will be used to support the construction of second stage and affordable rental housing.

In Our Valley: Lois Godfrey

Godfrey has spent 50 years helping with the Girl Guides, and even more helping out in her community.

Government program grants funding for flood mapping study of Kitimat River

Kitimat received $150,000 to help provide flood preparation and support, to mitigate future risks.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read