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East Grand Forks man in satisfactory condition after ambulance crash

An 88-year-old driver whose car was struck by an ambulance using its emergency lights and sirens in East Grand Forks Monday is in satisfactory condition at Altru Hospital, a nursing supervisor said Tuesday.

Police have not identified the driver, who's from East Grand Forks, or anyone else involved in the crash, because of the possibility that charges could be filed.

Officer Dave Thompson said he gave his crash report to the city's prosecutor Tuesday and that he expects a decision on charges in three to five days.

Thompson said three scenarios are possible: The 88-year-old driver and the ambulance driver -- a 45-year-old woman from Red Lake Falls, Minn. -- could both be cited, one or the other could be cited or no citations could be issued. He said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Police said the ambulance was heading west on U.S. Highway 2 around 1 p.m. Monday when it hit the driver's side of the 88-year-old's 1998 Buick Park Avenue which was going south on state Highway 220. The Buick had a green light, and the ambulance had a red light, witnesses told police.

In general, drivers must yield to emergency vehicles using lights and sirens, but operators of emergency vehicles must drive with due care, police said.

Before the collision, the ambulance from Red Lake Falls was taking a 56-year-old man to Altru to be treated for a substantial cut that left tendons showing on his right index finger, police said.

Altru sent two ambulances to the crash scene to transport the 56-year-old patient and the 88-year-old driver. The 56-year-old was treated and released, a nursing supervisor said Tuesday.