Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Woman in stolen ambulance leads police on chase

A 31-year-old woman driving a stolen ambulance led police on a chase through Hendersonville for several miles before the officers used stop sticks to end her run.

The woman had been released from Pardee Hospital's emergency room when she jumped in the county EMS vehicle and drove away about 1:14 Monday morning, police said.
Police and sheriff's deputies used stop sticks to stop the stolen ambulance on U.S. 25 at Rugby Road. Charged with multiple counts including drunken driving was Stephanie Mae Erwin, 31, of Howard Gap Loop, said Hendersonville Police Capt. Bruce Simonds. She was jailed under a $26,000 bond in Henderson County's Detention Center.
Erwin "came into the hospital belligerent," he said. When she was released an hour after midnight she climbed into an ambulance parked outside and drove off.
"We don't know where she went when she left," he said. Police spotted her coming back toward town on Four Seasons Boulevard and started pursuit. They chased her on Signal Hill Road, Duncan Hill Road, Berkeley Road and U.S. 25 before they laid down the spikes that stopped the ambulance at North Rugby Road.
Damage to the ambulance included blown out tires and a window police shattered to reach Erwin, who locked herself in when the ambulance became disabled.

"Speeds ranged from 45 to 70 mph," Simonds said. "She only passed three vehicles (on four-lane Asheville Highway). Her driving was actually pretty good."
No one was injured in the incident, Simonds said. Arresting officers took Erwin to jail after they extracted her from the vehicle. Erwin was charged with driving while impaired, theft of the motor vehicle, misdemeanor larceny, damage to property and fleeing police to elude arrest, Simonds said.

Erwin had been taken to the ER on an overdose call, Simonds said.

"When she was released or walked out the ambulance was there idling and unlocked," he said. "She put on an EMS jacket and drove off."