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First emergency workers at October crash weren’t even dispatched

Early on the evening of Oct. 22, a horrific crash on Ham Lane and Vine Street made nearby buildings tremble and left a field of twisted wreckage. Within seconds, medical and public safety workers rushed to the scene to save lives and ease suffering. This is the story of that response.

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Lodi Health nurse Yolanda Watts

“You do what you’re trained to do at the time without thinking about it. Afterward, when the adrenaline wears out, then you crash. Oh my gosh, all your best efforts and you weren’t able to save that person. It hits you — especially if you have children or a family.”

Lodi Fire Department Battalion Chief George Juelch

“This call is one of those where we have everything except a fire. We had ejected victims, multiple victims, lots of children, multiple vehicles, traffic control issues. As the incident commander, that complicates things.”

Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2013 12:00 am

It sounded like an explosion. And it rocked the Lodi Health Urgent Care Clinic. The first lifesavers on scene of the fatal multi-vehicle crash at Vine Street and Ham Lane last month weren’t even dispatched.

But registered nurse Yolanda Watt looked out the window of the hospital’s emergency care center and saw people scrambling. She thought perhaps a white van had struck a child, but wasn’t sure.

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