DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (WUSA) --It was an horrific scene on the 5600 block of Marlboro Pike: an SUV torn to pieces and a few yards away, an ambulance ripped apart.
Remarkably the two firefighters in the ambulance, 22-year-old Ed Godwin and 27-year-old Kelli Kivett, walked away from the crash early Thursday morning. However, the 3 men inside the SUV died instantly. Atolvise Jones said her friend, 30-year-old Emmanuel Jones, was a father of two. He lived with his parents just a half a mile away from the crash scene.
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"I was trying to call him around 3 this morning and the phone kept going to voice mail," she said, "and then I saw the news and I thought, I hope that's not him."
Jones was traveling with his cousin, 22-year-old Andre Watley and friend 35-year-old Tony Burney both of DC. Firefighters said dramatic video from the ambulance's dash board camera showed the seconds before the crash: Jones' SUV barreling down the wrong side of the street straight toward the ambulance which was operating with its lights and sirens.
"Almost in a blink of an eye the vehicle was on top of him," said PG County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Mark Brady. The 22-year-old firefighter swerved to avoid a head-on collision. It was a split second decision that saved his and his partner's lives. Thankfully, the ambulance was not carrying any patients at the time. It had just pulled out of the station, a couple of blocks from the scene, to respond to an overdose call a mile away.
"I'm quite confident, with the excessive speed the truck was traveling, that if it were a head on collision there would have been fatal injuries."
It was a close call for the firefighter family and a devastating morning call for the victim's family and friends. "I'm hurt and I'm shocked," said Jones, "he's not supposed to be dead right now."
Police continue to investigate whether drugs or alcohol played factors in the crash.
Written by Delia Gonçalves
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