by Dan Savage
on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM
Timothy C. McCormick, a 24-year-old EMT and an openly gay man, died this weekend in Indianapolis. The ambulance he was driving was hit by a car. The driver of the other car ran a flashing red light and smashed into McCormick's ambulance with such force that his ambulance flipped over and slid down the street and hit a parked car. Ambulances are pretty heavy and you have to hit one pretty hard to flip it on its side. The driver of the other car was unhurt. More details:
According to a police report, the female driver of the car, who has been identified as 21-year-old Jade Hammer, had the smell of alcohol on her breath when officers talked to her after the accident. She was transported to Wishard Memorial Hospital for a blood draw, which is standard procedure. No one has been taken into custody for the accident at this time.
At a noon press conference on Saturday, officials announced IEMS Private Timothy C. McCormick, 24, had died from injuries sustained in the crash. The second IEMS crew member [remains] in very critical condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital. McCormick, a Greenwood resident, joined the IEMS team in June 2010. He had recently attended IUPUI, was an Eagle Scout, and took part in many health fairs educating people about CPR.
Hammer told police that after getting off work, she and a friend went to a Downtown bar and she ordered two drinks, but only drank one and a half of them. She described them as not being strong drinks. Recently moved to Indianapolis from Florida, she said she was unfamiliar with the city and was following her audio GPS as she drove home. Police said her blood wasn’t drawn for drug and alcohol testing until almost two hours after the accident.
Timothy McCormick helping victims at the scene of the November 10 house explosion in Indianapolis.
Timothy McCormick also took part in the It Gets Better Project, making and uploading a short but moving video in December of 2011. On Saturday, before the news of his death broke, his video had been viewed 2,000 times. By this afternoon his video has had been viewed more than 20,000 times. I've heard from a few friends of McCormick's and the person they describe—upbeat, positive, loving—shines through in his IGB video. My heart goes out to McCormick's parents, his siblings, his friends, and his colleagues.
The mayor of Indianapolis has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff:
Mayor Greg Ballard has directed flags at all City-County facilities to be flown at half-staff to honor McCormick. Flags will remains at half-staff until sunset of the day of Private McCormick's internment. Mayor Ballard is also asking local businesses and residents to lower their flags at half-staff.
I was going to say something here about Diana Medley, the special ed teacher in Sullivan, Indiana, who became infamous last week when she said that gay people—including her own gay students—serve no purpose in life. McCormick's life had purpose and he died serving the people of Indianapolis. Sullivan is a little more than an hour's drive from Indianapolis and I imagine that McCormick was following the news from Sullivan. I can't imagine, having watched his IGB video, that McCormick felt anything but pity for Diana Medley. So, yeah, I was going to say something here about Diana Medley and tie these two stories together—Timothy McCormick's tragic death in Indianapolis, Diana Medley's hateful life in Sullivan—and then I thought to look up the condition of the other EMT who was injured in Saturday's crash:
A second medic has died from injuries sustained when a car collided with an ambulance in downtown Indianapolis. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services chief Dr. Charles Miramonti said that 22-year-old paramedic Cody Medley died early Sunday morning at Wishard Hospital from severe injuries.
I don't know if Cody Medley and Diana Medley are related. But it's possible that fate has already tied these two stories together.