Kaminski apologizes to dead patient’s family

Colin MacLean
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Investigation into man’s death on the TCH still under investigation

Vickie Kaminski —Telegram File photo

The CEO of Eastern Health apologized last night for the death of a young patient on the TCH near St. John’s on Monday.

Vickie Kaminski made the comments during her address to the board of trustees at Eastern Health’s annual general meeting.

The health authority has started an investigation into the incident and, until that process is completed, Kaminski told reporters she will have little else to say on the matter.

“We have been fairly quiet about doing interviews on the issue. But felt given the audience here tonight we should at least take the opportunity to say how much we apologize and how much we are sorry, and offer our condolences to everyone involved,” she said.

Whenever there is a major situation like this one, it’s common for Eastern Health to implement a quality review team, she added, and that process has already begun.

That team will review the incident and could make recommendations if it finds a particular policy that’s lacking. In this case, it will look at policies related to the transportation of patients.

Kaminski estimated it will take at least two weeks to do a thorough investigation.

Until then, Eastern Health will stay silent on the matter other than to offer its condolences to the victim’s family.

“You can never have a tragedy like this and not feel very, very sorry for everyone that’s been involved. It’s a tragic circumstance,” she said.

That tragedy unfolded on the TCH early Monday morning.

A 19-year-old man from Port Rexton was hit by a truck a little more than a kilometre east of the Foxtrap Access Road.

Very little information has been released by official sources regarding the crash, but there is a basic timeline available.

Local RCMP officers in Port Rexton responded to a house call Sunday evening and escorted the 19-year old to Clarenville Hospital.

A few hours later, now Monday, the patient was sent to a St. John’s hospital via an ambulance. Something happened in the ambulance along the way that caused the driver to pull over, and the patient fled the vehicle. He ran off into the woods.

The ambulance crew called 911 and requested help from police in locating him.

The RNC responded to the call.

Responsibility for that section of highway is shared between the RNC and the RCMP. If there’s a traffic-related incident on the road the call goes to the RCMP. Otherwise, the RNC is called.

RNC officers say they spent nearly an hour and a half looking for the man, despite there being several calls to 911 reporting a man walking on the highway.

The final 911 call was received at 2:12 a.m. — it was a report of the fatal collision.

The RNC responded to the call but the scene was later turned over to the RCMP, which is now conducting the crash investigation.

There was no further information provided on Tuesday by the RCMP. Its investigation is ongoing.

cmaclean@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Port Rexton, Foxtrap Access Road

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Recent comments

  • David
    September 26, 2012 - 09:59

    As a mob, we all head to the polls and vote to "save" our precious health care...one by one, we each find out the hard way that there simply is nothing there to save. And intead, they spend our tax money on PR mercenaries like Kaminski to 'smooth over' the all-too-frequent mess ups...wake up, folks.

  • Wanda
    September 26, 2012 - 09:23

    The headline containing the words "dead patient's family" is very inappropriate and insensitive and cold and informal. Just put yourself in the shoes of this young man's family members.

  • DEAD
    September 26, 2012 - 08:48

    Hmmm...or Lack of!!!

  • DEAD?
    September 26, 2012 - 08:46

    There has to be a much better way to write the headline?!?! How cold and disheartening for the family involved to read this caption!! Shame on your professionalism!

    • wavy
      September 26, 2012 - 10:54

      My thoughts exactly. If the writer felt it necessary to qualify the headline (it wasn't; "patient's family" would've sufficed) or for clarification purposes, don't you think "deceased" would've been more appropriate and respectful? I would expect a high school newpaper to use better discretion. Just the latest example of what passes for quality writing and journalism at the Telegram these days.

  • Peggy
    September 26, 2012 - 08:34

    I was very surprised to see lawyer Bob Buckingham on T.V. last night talking about this situation so soon after the tragedy. This young man and his family deserve respect, time to make final arrangements, and some quiet time to try to comprehend and maybe eventually be able to accept what happened to their loved one. Hopefully, the investigation will not linger on and they will get definite answers from Ms. Kaminiski asap to help them with this. My heart is also aching for the driver of the truck. He/she must be in total shock. There is nothing anyone can say about the ambulance driver and attendants until after the investigation is completed. God bless you all.

  • robroy
    September 26, 2012 - 07:46

    Never mind placing blame. Investigate and try to make sure this sort of thing happens again. I am an employee of eastern health and believe me this sort of thing can easily happen to no fault of anyone. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all involved

  • Alexis
    September 26, 2012 - 07:21

    Flexes, Kaminski and Eastern Health are apologizing for what happened to the young man, instead of worrying about liability and who is to blame... Not sure how it is a bad thing that they are offering heart felt remorse for their involvement in whatever happened. I am glad Kaminski is being honest, as I'm sure everyone involved is devastated and truly sorry this happened. My condolences to the family

  • Flexes
    September 26, 2012 - 06:27

    ...an apology is different then just offering condolences. Is Eastern Health admitting liability in this incident? Time for Kaminiski to be gone and without the handsome severance package.

    • Cha Ching
      September 26, 2012 - 07:06

      Condolences to the family and friends of this gentleman... Thoughts and prayers also to the driver of the transpport, as well as to the attendants - not your fault. Funny how a story like this hits the newswire and certain local lawyer is on tv talking about possible civil suit. Is this over simplifying the matter?? Man is aboard ambulance, causes a situation where ambulance has to pull over, patient exits ambulance (attendants are not allowed to restrain patient), attendants call for police help, patient hides out and runs through woods and out onto highway at times, no one is able to find him until he is run down by truck driver. The only question I ask is was the patient in restraints? This is very sad and unfortunate situation.. Condolences to all

    • Jay
      September 26, 2012 - 11:34

      I can't understand what is happening to people in this province. Why are so many people jumping all over tragedies to fulfil their petty political agenda. Flexes, give it a rest. The same could be said for the lawyer as well.