• WATCH: Driver charged with DWI slams into ambulance

    By: Paige Hansen


    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - The driver who Highway Patrol troopers say caused a wreck Monday involving an ambulance had been drinking before the crash.  Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene on Stanley-Spencer Mountain Road in Gastonia.
    The driver, who troopers identified as Blair Orr, crossed the center line and hit a Gaston County EMS ambulance.  Five people, including two Stanly Civil Defense Rescue Squad EMTs were rushed to the hospital.
    Only Eyewitness News obtained video from Gaston County EMS that shows inside and outside that ambulance in seconds leading up to the crash and the moment of impact.
    It is a 12-second video and in it, you can see just how quickly things can change.
    A Gaston County EMS ambulance had its lights and sirens on, headed to an emergency to assist a medic that was already on scene, Highway Patrol said.
    But around a curve, troopers say Blair Orr, the driver of the Honda sedan had been drinking, was speeding and driving recklessly. They say he was starting to crash and tried to over-correct.
    In the video, Orr veers over the center line and crashes head-on into the ambulance. It all happened in front of Lucille Sherrill's home.
    "I felt it," Sherrill said. "I felt like it was something like a tree hit the ground."
    Linda Rector also saw the crash and says she sits on her front porch most days with her coffee and watches the road.
    "They were just completely demolished," Rector said of the ambulance and car involved in Monday's crash. "The ambulance's front end, there was nothing left."
    Highway Patrol confirms Orr was in the car with his wife, Brianna.  They say neither was wearing a seat belt.
    Today, Brianna Orr is still in intensive care and has brain injuries because of the crash, according to troopers.  The couple's niece was buckled in the and is expected to be OK, troopers say.

    "It was bad. I just know that, it was bad," Rector said.
    Watchful neighbors want more patrol along this stretch of road watching for drivers who they say rarely go the 35 mile per hour speed limit. 
    Both EMT's were released from the hospital as of Tuesday afternoon.
    The driver already has been charged with DWI and could face more charges, including reckless driving. 

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