OKC Ambulance Driver Charged With Manslaughter 2 Years After Crash That Killed Patient

Monday, October 21st 2019, 10:18 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office has charged a former metro ambulance driver with manslaughter two years after a deadly crash. 

Investigators said Matthew Erickson killed a patient and injured another medic in August of 2017. Before the crash, the other employee reportedly told Erickson to stop driving erratically.

Read Related Story: Fatality Crash Involving Ambulance Being Investigated As Homicide

Carolyn Koch was the woman who was killed.

News 9 spoke to the victim's husband Monday, and he had no idea about the new charge. He said he doesn't know why prosecutors waited until now.

He also told News 9 he has since settled the matter in a lawsuit.

Friends of the victim said at the time they were devastated by the loss.

“Whenever you get into an ambulance you expect everything to be safe and for you to arrive safe, it blew my mind that something like that happened,” said Kim Penwell.

See Also: Ambulance Crash Victim’s Friend Speaks Out About Loss

During the crash, the vehicle rolled and the compartment separated. Koch and another paramedic were ejected.

In reports, witnesses said the truck was "driving in an erratic manner" and was "swerving back and forth across lanes of traffic."

Data collected from the vehicle clocked the speed at 89 mph, but the speed limit was 60 mph.

Furthermore, the report said the vehicle was "entering a curve" and "was engaged in a non-emergency transport."

Investigators said Erickson was "never allowed to exceed the speed limit" and was "never allowed to exceed the speed limit by 28 miles per hour."

A News 9 reporter went by Erickson's listed address Monday, because he hadn't been booked into jail. The current homeowner said he hadn't lived there in about a year.

News 9 wanted to ask about Erickson’s blood draw that was taken after the collision. There was allegedly alprazolam and pregabalin in his system.

Ultimately, the DA found Erickson's reckless actions caused the crash.

District Attorney David Prater is currently involved in a murder trial and could not offer comment at this time. He did say News 9 can expect a response from his office soon.