Birgilio Marin-Fuentes drove himself to an Oregon hospital early Thursday morning because he was coughing and couldn’t sleep, and he almost made it—but he crashed his car into a pillar and wall in the medical center parking garage. After 20 minutes, police found him and started CPR, as another officer walked the approximately 125 feet into the emergency room to inform staff of the situation. But instead of coming out to help, staff members told the police officer to call 911 and wait for an ambulance to arrive. Marin-Fuentes eventually died, the AP reports.
The 61-year-old had reportedly suffered a heart attack. Now his family, police, and a congressman are all asking why the officer was instructed to call 911 when the hospital was so close. A hospital spokesperson says “protocol” required that an ambulance crew move the victim, because “with an automobile accident you don’t know if the patient needs to be extricated or transported.” She says that paramedics and security officers with a mobile defibrillator did check on the man, but police say they didn’t get any medical assistance until the ambulance crew came to wheel Marin-Fuentes into the ER. A police spokesperson calls the experience “traumatic.”