Updated: June 14, 2021 07:47 PM
Created: June 13, 2021 05:13 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Emergency crews lifted a stolen ambulance out of Irondequoit Bay after police say a woman crashed it after taking the vehicle from the Utica area Sunday morning.
A Monroe County Scuba team was able to pull the ambulance up from the water just after 5 p.m.
State Police say they received a call about the stolen ambulance and then spotted it on the Thruway around 10:40 a.m.
Our Syracuse affiliate reports the woman stole the ambulance from Kunkel Ambulance, a Utica-based provider. A spokesperson said the ambulance depot had its garage doors open, and the ambulance was in for routine cleaning. No crew members were present when the ambulance was taken.
Troopers later tried to stop the ambulance with stingers twice, but both attempts were unsuccessful, and a pursuit was called off.
State Trooper Mark O'Donnell said police later spotted the ambulance again and began following the vehicle at "reasonable" speeds, but did not attempt to stop the vehicle with stingers. Police say the woman got off the Thruway at the Victor exit and proceeded down I-490 before exiting at the Culver Road exit.
Shortly after, police say the woman crashed through the gate at the Newport Yacht Club in Irondequoit, and ultimately, wound up in the bay around 12:15 p.m. A witness told News10NBC they saw the ambulance speed down the hill to the Yacht Club and saw it go airborne before crashing into the bay.
"I looked up and I saw an ambulance fly right by, and it didn't stop,” Bob Henry, a member of the Newport Yacht Club who saw the ambulance drive off the boat launch said. "She came crashing through the gate, and it made a very loud noise, and now our gate needs to be repaired.
O'Donnell said the woman then jumped out of the ambulance. Henry says he saw someone jump out of a fishing boat and into the water to help the woman, who looked like she was having trouble swimming. O'Donnell said she was ultimately taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
"I saw the lady get out of the ambulance,” Henry said. “She asked for help. She said ‘I'm drowning.’ And there were nearby boaters that came to her rescue."
O'Donnell said she was ultimately taken into custody by deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Utica Police confirmed to News10NBC it is handling the criminal investigation and is working to bring her back to Utica to face charges.
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