State begins investigation of skier death response

5:13 PM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Jay Bradshaw, the director of Maine Emergency Services has confirmed to NEWS CENTER that a formal investigation into the death of a skier on Sugarloaf has been launched.

41-year-old David Morse was seriously injured on Sugarloaf when he hit a tree. He was taken by ski patrol to the mountain clinic where he was transeferred to paramedics.

Morse's wife is accusing Northstar Ambulance of being incompetent when it came to her husband's care.

Dana Morse, a nurse with more than 20 years of experience told a newspaper in Nova Scotia paramedics did not do many of the things they should have.

She also tells the paper that when she asked the ambulance driver en route to Franklin Memorial Hospital if she could move from the front seat to the back to be with her husband -- the driver let her out -- and then drove away, leaving her on the side of the road.

She says when she finally did get to the hospital, none of the people there had even heard of her husband. She says her husband died in the ambulance and the driver simply turned around and took his body back to the clinic at Sugarloaf.

Northstar Ambulance is operated by the Franklin Community Health Network.

Rebecca Ryder, President and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network issued a statement last week:

"I would ask everyone in our community and around the state of Maine to join me in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the family who lost their loved one last week as the result of a skiing accident. I have asked the employees in my organization to join me in doing the same.

I understand that this is a very difficult time for the patient's family, and especially for his wife and children. I am committed to fully understanding all aspects of what occurred following this tragic accident, and will work toward that end.

Throughout this week, we have been conducting a review of this situation. As part of that fact-finding, all involved need to be interviewed, and we have not yet completed that process.

Integral to the mission of Franklin Community Health Network is providing high quality care to our patients and families. As president of the network, I am confident that the health professionals in our organization, which includes NorthStar ambulance service, have continued to maintain our values of expert clinical care and compassion, defined by consistently showing respect for all the people we serve."

Bradshaw, of Maine Emergency Services, says the investigation will allow investigators to dig a little more deeply into the accident and the response.


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