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Nursing Home Resident Crashes Ambulance He ‘Borrowed’ to Get a Sandwich

August 19, 1988

CONROE, Texas (AP) _ A pajama-clad nursing home resident who wanted a sandwich took off in an idling ambulance and crashed into a garage door about a mile away.

″I guess my first thought was, ‘Why is there an ambulance in my driveway?’ The second thought was, ‘This can’t be the real driver.’ I mean he looked elderly and a little dazed,″ said Margaret Hataway, who awoke about 3:30 a.m. Thursday to the sound of squealing tires and a revved-up engine.

The crash came an eye-blink later. The ambulance demolished her garage door and the Cadillac parked inside was scratched from flying glass.

Donald Edwards, 79, a resident of the Woodland Manor Nursing Home about a mile from Hataway’s house, was uninjured in the crash and faces no charges. He has been returned to the nursing home.

″He said all he wanted was a sandwich, and he couldn’t figure out why no one would give him one,″ said Pat Pechacek, owner of the stolen ambulance.

The ambulance was called to the nursing home to transport an elderly woman complaining of chest pains. The woman was taken to the hospital by another ambulance and was doing fine, Pechacek said.

Pechacek, who had gone to the nursing home with his partner to pick up the woman, said he now has a new policy for employees at the County Wide Ambulance Service:

″Turn the engine off, and take the keys with you.″

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