Police: Driver refused to yield to ambulance, causing early morning crash

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two people sustained minor injuries after a driver reportedly refused to yield to an EMHC ambulance.

The accident happened at Poplar Avenue and Cleveland in Midtown.

"A lot of drivers don't understand it. They understand how to drive, but they don't understand the law out here," driver Warren Denton said.

According to police, the ambulance had its lights on and sirens blaring as it made its way down Poplar. When it reached the intersection, the driver repeatedly honked the horn and almost came to a complete stop before proceeding.

Before it made it through, a Nissan Sentra clipped it. The impact sent the ambulance into a pole. Both vehicles sustained damage.

The ambulance driver, a passenger and another witness told police the Nissan sped through the light in an attempt to beat the other vehicle.

"There are always wrecks at this corner," neighbor Daniel Goodman said.

Goodman catches the bus near the busy intersection daily.

He says crashes happen often but thinks this one could have avoided, especially since a life may have been hanging in the balance.

"I just hope everyone will be okay," he said.

When questioned by police, the driver of the Nissan - identified as Justin Amos - said he saw the ambulance coming, but didn't yield because the light was green for him.

He also confirmed he didn't have car insurance.

The driver was issued a citation.

The passenger in the ambulance was taken to the Regional Medical Center, but is expected to be okay. The ambulance driver was evaluated by paramedics on the scene.

The ambulance was not transporting anyone at the time, the witness said.