After woman's death, family questions emergency response

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GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- There are new concerns about how 911 calls are handled after a young woman died in a car crash. Her family says she didn't get the help needed in time to save her life.

When Justice Rutherford Wilson was badly injured in a car wreck, strangers who stopped to help her said she was conscious, breathing, and talking - even asking to call her parents. All of them, including a Gary cop, waited and wondered when help would arrive.

"She asked them if she was going to die," said Crystal Wilson. She and her husband John want answers after their 19-year-old daughter Justice lost her life two months ago.

"Her leg was broken in three places," John said.

"She was trying to get up. She was a strong girl," Crystal said.

Strangers stopped to save her, pulling her out of her smoking truck. Many of them called 911. And, with Justice, they waited.

"It burns me up to know that my daughter suffered like that, and until we get justice for my daughter, I will not ever quit being angry," said John said.

"The Gary ambulances were not available at that time," said Brian Hitchcock, director, Lake County 911. "A call was made to the Prompt Ambulance Company for them to send an ambulance out."

Roughly 20 minutes would pass before that Prompt Ambulance arrived. Justice's family says there was help just down the road in Portage.

"If they would have been dispatched they would have been there in three minutes," John said.

"When the crew got to that part of the city, it was determined that this was a severe accident. A request was made for an engine company to respond," said Joe Merry, director of operations, Prompt Ambulance.

But it was too late, and now, a mission is made: "Justice for Justice." Her aunt has made T-shirts and will take her supporters to Lake County on Tuesday night.

"Let's figure out what's going on and figure it out right now. Let's not work the kinks out. Because when you work the kinks out you're letting people die," said Angie Wilson, victim's aunt.

Angie Wilson plans to reach out to Kenneth Booker's family, hoping they'll join the vigil. Booker died in his Griffith apartment after a 911 dispatcher sent paramedics to the wrong address.
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