Nanaimo resident Randall Krall who was a patient of Island Health has an unusual tale to tell about his transfer between two hospitals after the ambulance he was in lost a tire.
The patient is speaking out because he says something like this should never happen.
“That was the most bizarre trip I’ve ever been on,” Krall told CHEK News on Thursday.
After his surgery in Victoria on Monday, Krall was on a stretcher, one of three patients being transported late that night between Royal Jubilee in Victoria to Nanaimo Regional General.
They were in the back of a Medi-Van ambulance when he felt something wasn’t quite right.
“It was wobbling and there was no call cord in the vehicle. I couldn’t get in touch with the driver cause I felt something going on,” said Krall.
He didn’t say anything to the attendant, but 20 minutes later the vehicle was travelling at highway speed near the top of the Malahat when the ride took a turn.
“The transport van tilted a bit and I could hear scraping on the road of metal and wondering what was going on, and he turned off into the gravel along the side of the road and they took a look and the tire had come off,” said Krall.
The patients had to wait at least 30 minutes until another Medi-Van arrived and then Krall had to get off his stretcher and walk roughly 10 meters up to the other van in the cold after his surgery.
“But my main beef with the whole thing. This should’ve never have happened,” he said.
On Thursday, the ambulance was at a tire shop going through a mechanical inspection. A Medi-Van manager says she’s not aware of this ever happening in the company’s 40-plus year history. She commended the driver for safely pulling over to the side of the road when it happened, avoiding an even worse outcome.
Island Health says its contractors are required to meet stringent safety standards and ensure regular maintenance of their fleets. A commercial driver tells CHEK News checking lug nuts is a required part of a daily pre-trip inspection. It’s unclear if they were checked prior to this trip.
“Just totally unacceptable,” said Krall.
Krall says he wanted to bring this to the public’s attention so that it never happens again.