Family of teen hit by Pa. fire dept. ambulance files lawsuit

Kenyatta Mwambu, 17, was hit by a Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 4 ambulance in May while crossing a street


By Dillon Carr
The Tribune-Review

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — A $70,000 civil lawsuit has been filed against a Monroeville volunteer fire department.

Kenyatta Mwambu, 17, was hit by a Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 4 ambulance around 3:45 p.m. May 9 while crossing a street, according to a complaint filed Oct. 17 in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.

The complaint contends the ambulance driver, Brandon Prevost, was “carelessly” and “negligently” “speeding southbound in the northbound lanes” when he hit Mwambu.

Edward Balzarini Jr., the plaintiffs’ attorney, said the ambulance was passing other vehicles when it hit Mwambu. Balzarini did not know how fast the ambulance was traveling or if the ambulance was on an emergency call.

Balzarini said Mwambu, who is now a senior at Gateway High School, was walking on Gateway Campus Boulevard when he was making his way across Mosside Boulevard. The attorney said he doesn’t believe the ambulance driver used a horn or any other effort to alert Mwambu.

“I don’t know if (Prevost) was on a call or not. We’ll find out in the lawsuit,” Balzarini said.

Monroeville’s magisterial district court records show Prevost was issued a traffic citation 12 days after the alleged collision for “being the driver of an ambulance with lights and siren activated failed to stop at a steady red traffic signal.”

Balzarini said it is still unclear whether the driver was on an emergency call.

According to Prevost’s court docket, he pleaded not guilty a week after receiving the citation and then pleaded guilty in June. He was fined $151, which he paid in June.

As a result of the collision, Mwambu suffered “damage to bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, muscles, blood vessels and surrounding soft tissues of the left and right lower extremities,” the complaint said.

The complaint also said Mwambu suffered “abrasions,” “contusions” and “multiple fractures of the ankle and heel” of his left foot. There was also “shock with injury and damage to the nerves and nervous system.”

Balzarini would not comment on the severity of Mwambu’s injuries, but said the teen is still wearing a leg brace.

The lawsuit is divided into two separate counts with Mwambu listed as a plaintiff in one and his parents – Paul Mwambu and Josephine Kyazze – in the other. Each count seeks $35,000 for damages and a jury trial.

When reached by phone, Prevost declined to comment and referred questions to Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 4 Chief Scott Feyes.

Feyes did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole, who is listed as the fire company’s president.

As of Oct. 22, court records did not show a legal response from the volunteer fire department.

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©2019 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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