Couple asks why it took authorities so long to respond to accident

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South couple asked why it took paramedics 20 minutes and police nearly an hour to respond to the scene of a bad crash Saturday.

At 1:52 Saturday afternoon, two cars collided at the busy intersection of Macon and Sanga Road.  The crash happened directly in front of Mac and Kimberly McGreger.

"I immediately called 911," Kimberly McGreger said.  "I told them we needed an ambulance and we needed a police officer, there was a wreck and a lady was injured."

Minutes went by with no sign of an ambulance or police.

"She just looked really out of it," Mac McGreger said of the crash victim, "possible concussion, that sort of thing."

Twenty minutes after the crash, paramedics arrived.

"I asked the ambulance what took so long, and they said they were dispatched from Somerville," Mac McGreger said.  "They don't know why they didn't call anyone closer."

As the crash continued to block one lane of traffic on Macon Road, the McGregers said one paramedic was forced to direct traffic while the other treated the injured driver.

The McGregers said a sheriff's deputy then drove by, but did not stop.

"Couldn't even stop to say, 'hey, is everyone OK, do you need anything?'  It's not his jurisdiction but at least say, 'hey, is everybody all right," Mac McGreger said.

Police finally arrived at 2:51, one minute shy of an hour after the crash.

The Memphis Police Department's spokesperson said dispatchers were never told there were injuries.

An officer was dispatched six minutes after the call was received but was called away to another incident.

"Calls are dispatched according to urgency and with this crash not having injuries, the ones with higher priority came first," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that deputies are reminded to assist citizens they encounter anywhere in Shelby County.  However, it is a judgment call whether a deputy stops to direct traffic or continues with their patrol.

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