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A Day on the Water Interrupted by a Huge Splash

Stolen ambulance ends up in bay in Rochester, NY, after high-speed police chase
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2021 7:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Families and boaters enjoying a day at Irondequoit Bay in Western New York got quite the surprise on Sunday when an ambulance being pursued by cops ended up in the water. New York State Police say the emergency vehicle, stolen from an ambulance company in Utica, was spotted by state troopers on the New York State Thruway near Verona in Oneida County at just after 10:30am ET, and a chase ensued, per WSYR and Syracuse.com. The driver wouldn't stop, however, and police soon called off the chase for public safety reasons. Troopers saw the stolen ambulance not long after, this time in Rochester, and started after it again, but that chase, too, was halted. That's when witnesses say the driver pulled off the I-490, sped down a winding residential road in Rochester, smashed through a locked gate, and drove straight down a boat ramp at the Newport Yacht Club and into the bay, per the Democrat and Chronicle.

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A tweet from a local reporter shows the splash the ambulance made as it crashed into the water. The unidentified female driver was able to climb out of the vehicle's window and swim to a nearby passenger vessel, where she received medical attention before being taken into custody, per the police. A video from WROC, meanwhile, shows the ambulance as it was pulled out of the water. One witness tells the Democrat and Chronicle that he'd been about to back his boat trailer onto the ramp when he saw the ambulance speeding toward him and got out of the way. "I would have been dead without a doubt, because when the person got to the bottom of the hill they just punched it," he says. "It crashed through the gate and went airborne." More than 100 miles away, back in Utica, local police had their own reaction. "In my 15 years at the police department, I've never heard of anything quite of this nature," one cop tells WHAM. Charges are said to be pending. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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