The paramedic who was killed when the private ambulance he was driving slammed into the back of a TDOT roadside help truck on Interstate 65 this fall had a history of medical problems, including narcolepsy and epilepsy. These conditions, investigators believe, led to the fatal crash, according to the final report released by Metro Police on Monday.
David Cline, 36, and his passenger, Sue Bly, 78, both died in the crash.
On Oct. 22, Cline, an off-duty City of Franklin firefighter, was returning Bly to an assisted living facility from a dialysis treatment, when he collided with the Tennessee Department of Transportation vehicle sitting on the shoulder of the road between Wedgewood Avenue and the Interstate 440 interchange.
The reasons why the ambulance drifted into the shoulder are "unknown," according to the report. But investigators concluded the driver suffered some type of "seizure or some type of other medical condition that would incapacitate him."
After performing a toxicology examination, police determined Cline had an elevated level of amphetamines in his bloodstream from his prescribed medication for narcolepsy, Adderall. The same report did not find indications his prescribed epilepsy medication, Depakote, was in his system.
Investigators believe Cline was text messaging with his cell phone leading up to the accident, but not during the impact. His cell phone was found on his person, and had he been texting immediately before the crash, the phone would likely have been thrown from his person, the report states.
Cline did have previous incidents involving seizures and car crashes. On Christmas Day 1999, Cline ran off the road and struck a utility pole after he had a seizure, and following the incident, his driver's license was suspended. His credentials were reinstated in March of 2000. He suffered another seizure while working his day job as a Franklin firefighter, "three or four years prior" to the deadly crash.