Bellwood ambulance fiasco: Deadly mix of cocaine, high speed, no seat belts

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An unregistered private ambulance did not brake or slow down before careening into a Bellwood building nearly 17 months ago, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.

That information is included in a newly-completed "Traffic Crash Reconstruction Report" prepared by Illinois State Police and obtained by the I-Team after an Open Records request. Investigators say the ambulance was going about 50 miles per hour when it slammed into G.J. Nikolas & Co. on Washington Blvd. and may have been accelerating before impact. The state report includes new photos that reveal extensive damage from the full-speed impact and interior wreckage to the lacquer and coatings firm-which was closed on Saturday March 31, 2018.

RELATED: 3 killed in Bellwood ambulance crash ID'd

The three people who died in the crash were a patient who was being ferried from dialysis treatment, an ambulance assistant, and the driver who was under the influence of cocaine according to Cook County autopsy results.

RELATED: EMT had cocaine in system when he crashed ambulance killing 3

Also revealed in the ISP reconstruction report was that no one in the ambulance was restrained. The EMT/driver in the front and the trainee in the back of the vehicle were not belted in and the patient gurney restraining straps were "not buckled" according to state investigators.

Police place the blame for the deadly crash on emergency medical technician James D. Wesley, 51, a convicted felon who the I-Team has reported was ineligible for the state EMT license he held. The second person killed was Prentis Williams, 50. Although an attorney for Excel Ambulance said Williams was sometimes paid cash to do clean-up work, Williams' family maintains he was an EMT-trainee.

RELATED: Crashed ambulance mystery: 2nd EMT was actually a handyman

The patient, 48 year old Larry Marshall Jr., died from blunt trauma suffered during the building crash.

Two lawsuits naming Excel Ambulance have been filed in Cook County Court on behalf of Marshall and Williams.


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