Ambulette driver faces homicide charges in death of nursing home resident

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A former medical transport driver has been indicted for criminally negligent homicide related to the death of a nursing home resident, the New York Attorney General's office announced Friday.

Driver Juan Garcia was working for Maeleen Ambulette Transport Inc. while transporting an elderly nursing home resident back to the facility from a dialysis appointment, when he came to an abrupt stop. The resident apparently was thrown from her wheelchair in the August 2010 incident. Garcia, 49, has admitted he had not buckled the resident's seatbelt, according to the attorney general's office.

Even though a certified nursing assistant in the ambulette asked Garcia to take the resident to the hospital, he proceeded to drive to the Gold Crest Care Center, the charges state. The resident subsequently underwent surgery for a fractured hip and died about a month later from complications.

“Had [Garcia] taken the most basic safety precautions, this vulnerable nursing home resident would not have died in this horrific way,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated.

Garcia was arraigned in Bronx County Supreme Court and released on his own recognizance, according to Schneiderman's office. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.