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Person dies after 2 driverless cars block ambulance on way to hospital

Authorities allege a delay from the self-driving cars is partly to blame for the person's death.
Person dies after 2 driverless cars block ambulance on way to hospital
Posted at 9:25 AM, Sep 04, 2023

Authorities allege two self-driving cars blocked the path of a California ambulance heading to the hospital with a patient who ended up dying, according to reports. They are in part blaming the driverless vehicles for the person's death. 

The San Francisco Fire Department said the patient was a pedestrian who was hit by a car on Aug. 14 and bleeding heavily from "significant left lower extremity injuries," according to local station KTLA

"When we arrived at scene, the only open lanes for egress from the call were blocked by two Cruise vehicles that had stopped and were not moving or leaving the scene. We were unable to leave the scene initially due to the Cruise vehicles not moving. This delay, no matter how minimal, contributed to a poor patient outcome," the fire department wrote in records obtained by Forbes. 

The patient died 20 to 30 minutes after reaching the hospital, according to San Francisco station KRON-TV

But Cruise, the company behind the driverless cars, is disputing SFFD's claims.

"On August 14 two Cruise AVs encountered an active emergency scene at an intersection in which a pedestrian had been hit by a human driven car. The first vehicle promptly clears the area once the light turns green and the other stops in the lane to yield to first responders who are directing traffic. Throughout the entire duration the AV is stopped, traffic remains unblocked and flowing to the right of the AV," Cruise said in a statement obtained by KRON-TV. 

"As soon as the victim was loaded into the ambulance, the ambulance left the scene immediately and was never impeded from doing so by the AV," the statement said.

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