Driver dies after crashing into ambulance

HOUSTON - A driver died Thursday after his car slammed into an ambulance on a northwest Houston street, narrowly missing paramedics.

The crash happened at 12:30 a.m. on Kempwood Drive and Ryson Street.

Police said an ambulance and a fire truck were sent to a home for a sick call. Then, the driver of a white sedan coming down the street lost control of his vehicle and hit the back of the parked ambulance, which slammed into the fire truck, investigators said.

Two paramedics standing near the ambulance were able to jump out of the way in time.

"Upon their arrival, they were getting out of the ambulance and they heard some wheels brake and noticed this car coming at them," said John Douglas with the Houston Fire Department. "Two guys in the back jumped out of the way. The driver jumped back in the (ambulance)."

A paramedic was in the driver's seat of the ambulance during the crash. That paramedic was taken to a hospital for observation and is expected to be OK.

Witnesses said the driver was speeding.

"I think he was going 85 or 86," Johnny Navarro said. "As soon as the ambulance got here, there was a car coming -- a white car and it started braking and hit the ambulance."

The driver of the vehicle, David Lopez, 21, was trapped in his car and firefighters cut him out. He was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he died.

Police said Lopez was on his way home from watching the NBA playoffs. Lopez played varsity basketball at Northbrook High School.

Another ambulance was sent to cover original sick call.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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