OAKLAND — Thanks to great teamwork by first responders, a potential medical emergency was averted Wednesday night after a collision between a Red Cross van carrying blood and another vehicle on Interstate 880 in East Oakland, authorities said.

None of the blood was damaged, authorities said.

The collision happened about 10:46 p.m. Wednesday in southbound Interstate 880 lanes just north of 66th Avenue, the California Highway Patrol said.

A van belonging to the Red Cross collided with a Nissan Xterra sport-utility vehicle, causing the Nissan to roll over, the CHP said.

Oakland Fire Department firefighters also responded, with an arriving battalion chief finding the two overturned vehicles with two injured people, including one trapped inside, Oakland Fire spokesman Michael Hunt said.

After extricating the Nissan’s driver, both drivers were taken to a hospital for treatment. Their conditions were not available Thursday night.

A fire department dispatcher handling the call “took it upon herself to contact multiple hospitals to see if they could store the numerous boxes/packages of blood that were in the Red Cross van,” Hunt added in a statement.

Falck ambulance staff were able to send a quick-response vehicle to transport the blood to the department’s Station No. 1 in downtown Oakland just after 1 a.m., with Red Cross staff picking it up 10 minutes later.

“Without her taking this comprehensive step, the blood supply might have been a total loss,” Hunt said.

“This was an amazing job by the firefighters, Falck ambulance crews, as well as our dedicated team in our dispatch center, which went above and beyond to coordinate the response and secure the supply for future use.”

The cause of the collision is under investigation. Anyone with information may call the CHP’s Oakland office at 510-957-8247.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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Source:: The Mercury News


Two injured in I-880 collision involving Red Cross van

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