UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood says a township man is now facing charges after a spray of snow from his snowblower “blinded” an ambulance driver on an emergency call, causing the rig to veer into a snowbank on Timberlake Road, where it was stuck for two hours during the storm on Saturday night.
“The snow coming out of the snowblower hits the front windshield, blinding the driver,” Chitwood told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter. “The driver then crashes into a snowbank.”
Chitwood explained that a second member of the ambulance crew was, at first, unable to exit the rig which was wedged in the snow.
Finally, he stated, the two medics walked on foot to the home of the patient who had dialed “911” reporting bleeding.
The Superintendent says a second ambulance, the only other on-duty in the township, then had to be dispatched to transport the patient.
“He continued to blow snow on the vehicle even after he saw it crashed and stopped and the second vehicle coming,” Chitwood explained.
A criminal complaint charges the snowblower operator, Joseph Ross, with “obstructing emergency services”, which is a misdemeanor, and for violating the township’s snow removal ordinance.
“I was just clearing a path with the snowblower, nothing intentional was done,” Ross told Hunter.
Ross says he thinks the incident is being blown out of proportion.
“This big of a deal? I don’t think so,” Ross stated. “There’s too many things going on in the world to be worried about somebody shoveling some snow somewhere.”
Ross claims he did nothing wrong.
“First of all, it wasn’t done purposely and if I can’t clear the walkway, where am I supposed to put the snow?”
Chitwood says after the warrant was signed, Ross is expected to surrender tomorrow.