Traffic light trouble blamed in ambulance, taxi cab collision

EMBED </>More Videos

A malfunctioning traffic light in is to blame for an accident overnight. (WPVI)

A malfunctioning traffic light in Chinatown is to blame for an accident overnight that left four people hurt.

Authorities say the light at Vine and North 8th streets was showing both red and green at the same time, and that's where an ambulance and a taxi collided.

The light is operating properly now, but there are lingering questions in the wake of the accident.

The condition of the two vehicles involved tell the story - both heavily damaged in the collision.

However, authorities say neither one had the right of way.

The traffic light was malfunctioning at the time, displaying both green and red in both directions.

State law requires drivers on both roads to stop before proceeding when a light is malfunctioning.

Police are investigating to determine if either driver stopped before going through the intersection.

The driver of the ambulance and a passenger were taken to the hospital and admitted. The driver of the taxi and his female passenger were also admitted.

One of the victims remains in critical condition.

The ambulance involved was a private transport ambulance. A spokesman for Lifestar Response says it was not transporting a patient, so neither its flashing lights nor its siren would have been activated.

There's no way of knowing how long the traffic light had been malfunctioning since no one called 9-1-1 to report it.

Our crew on the scene witnessed another near miss because of the light. But, the Streets Department wasn't notified by city radio until three hours after the accident, and even then they were told only that a pole was down.

A crew responded to the scene and fixed the light at 6:10 this morning.

The city has no explanation for that delay. In the meantime they'd appreciate it if other drivers would pass it along. Don't assume the proper authorities already know about it if you pass a malfunctioning light.

If someone had called 9-1-1 earlier, that one victim might not be in critical condition right now.
Related Topics:
accidentcrashphilly newsCenter City Philadelphia
(Copyright ©2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)