Ambulance Crash Victim’s Friend Speaks Out About Loss

Sunday, August 20th 2017, 7:20 pm
By: News 9

A friend and neighbor of the woman killed in an ambulance crash earlier this week spoke only with News 9 about what happened beforehand. 

Kim Penwell lived across the street from Carolyn Koch in Blanchard. When she wasn’t feeling well after mowing, she took her neighbor to the emergency room. Penwell said when doctors wanted to transfer her to St. Anthony's Hospital downtown, she offered to take her, and looking back now, she wishes she did.

“She kept telling me go home, go home,” remembered Kim Penwell, Carolyn Koch’s friend and neighbor. “She said ‘I'll be fine.’”

That's the last time Penwell saw her friend alive. The 66-year-old Koch died Wednesday night during the ambulance transfer to downtown Oklahoma City.

”It just doesn't seem like she's gone,” she said, holding back tears. “I keep expecting her to come over to the house; you know she would come over on weekends and talk to me.”

According to investigators, the ambulance veered off Interstate 44 at SW 59 Street, rolled and broke apart. Koch was ejected and died at the scene. 

“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 Penwell. “I feel like I should have stayed with her or something.”

Penwell said while the loss is still raw, she'll always remember her dear friend as a beautiful person, inside and out.

“She had one of those smiles that would just you know, she just lit up whenever she would smile,” she said. “She was a very loving soul. Everybody in town knew her pretty much and we just all love and miss her, a lot.”

Two paramedics inside the ambulance are still recovering from their injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.