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EMSA driver charged with negligent homicide after fatal ambulance wreck

An EMSA emergency medical technician was driving an ambulance 83 miles per hour on an Oklahoma City street when he hit a car, killing its driver, authorities said.
BY BRYAN DEAN Modified: December 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm •  Published: December 19, 2011

An EMSA emergency medical technician has been charged with negligent homicide after investigators said his reckless driving of an ambulance caused a wreck that killed a man on NW 10 near May Avenue.

Benjamin Ward Samples, 36, was driving the ambulance Dec. 10 on an emergency call and had activated the vehicle's lights and sirens. He was driving 83 mph in the wrong direction on NW 10 when the accident occurred about 10:30 a.m., according to court and police records.

The ambulance was going east on NW 10 when it veered into the empty oncoming lanes to get around cars in both eastbound lanes. Fidel Mesa-Solis, 43, was in the left eastbound lane trying to turn left into a parking lot, and his car was hit in the driver's side by the speeding ambulance. Mesa-Solis died at the scene.

Court documents use the above spelling, while the police incident report refers to the victim as Fidel Meza-Solis.

“He always left to go out and bring us something to eat. That morning, he said he was going to be back in 30 minutes and he didn't come back,” son Jesus Meza said.

His father worked construction and was a conscientious driver, said Mesa, 18.

Meza said he doesn't have an opinion about whether or not Samples should have been charged, but was not angry about the wreck.

“I'm just sad,” Meza said.

He leaves behind a wife, Maria Castrueta, and a 4-year-old daughter.

Samples and a paramedic who was in the ambulance are both on administrative leave.

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