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Update: Long Recoveries for Minnesota Medics Injured in Head-on Crash — Patient Being Transported Called for Help

UPDATE — Paramedic Brian Nagel was critically injured in the accident. His family has set up a page with updates on CaringBridge.org.

Brian Nagel
Brian Nagel
His family writes:

Brian was involved in a head on crash while he was attending to a patient in the back of an ambulance. He is in the ICU and he has severe head trauma and scull/face fractures. He is in an induced coma but when the nurses turn down the pain medication he does move and try and take the tubes out which shows that he is fighting back. My parents and I were with him all day and told him that everyone is pulling for him.

Night time was a little rocky for Brian but of course he was strong and pulled through. The main goal is to have Brian breathing on his own. In order to get to that point he has to wake up and be able to follow simple commands like, squeezing his hand or giving a thumbs up. He was woken up today (Sunday) for the second time and he was moving around so much 4 nurses had to hold him down! He even opened one eye, but unfortunately he was unable to follow the commands.

Monday Update: We also found out that the patient that Brian and Tim were transporting to the hospital made the emergency call. We can not thank her enough for her strength and bravery during that time of tragedy.

Visit the Update Page here for more information or to post well wishes

The Latest

By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Jan. 20 — A crash on a Wright County road involving an ambulance carrying a patient and an SUV during a snowstorm has left two medical workers facing long recoveries and another person injured, officials said.

The head-on collision occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. Saturday on County Road 35 near Eaken Avenue NE. in Buffalo Township, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency medical technician Tim Day, 43, of Albertville, Minn., and paramedic Brian Nagel, 30, of Greenwood, were among the injured, according to Allina Health, the ambulance’s operator. Both were taken to Buffalo Hospital, with Nagel being transferred to North Memorial Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.

View Photo from Scene

The SUV’s driver, Marilyn Paumen, 51, of Monticello, Minn., was taken directly to North Memorial, the Sheriff’s Office said. She was in critical condition Monday morning. The patient, Laura Wolsey, 35, of St. Michael, Minn., was moved to a replacement ambulance and continued on to Buffalo Hospital.

Authorities say specifics about the crash, including which lane the collision occurred, remain under investigation.

Immediately after the crash, “Tim was driving and did his best to manage the situation, reportedly even attempting to render aid to others, despite the fact that he himself suffered significant” lower-body injuries, Brian LaCroix, president of Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, said in a Facebook posting Sunday night.

Tim faces extensive surgery and “has been told to expect up to three months or so living from a wheelchair,” LaCroix added.

Nagel is hospitalized in intensive care and breathing with the assistance of a ventilator and has at his side his parents from Florida and a sister from New York, LaCroix said.

“Brian has a long road ahead, but he has literally thousands of people from across the country pulling and praying for him,” LaCroix said.

No information was immediately available about the other two people injured in the crash.

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(c)2014 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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