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Snowbound Man Dies After 10 Calls to 911

Snowstorm kepts ambulances from dying man in Pittsburgh
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 5:55 PM CST
Snowbound Man Dies After 10 Calls to 911
An ambulance travels through a snow covered street during a winter snow storm Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The heavy snows that pummeled the East Coast last week claimed one victim in Pittsburgh whose death was surely preventable: a 50-year-old man who called 911 nine times over two days to complain of severe stomach pain. Every time an ambulance was dispatched, it got stuck in snow. Poor communication at the dispatch center, due to heavy call volume, led to each of Mitchell's calls being treated as a separate request.

By the time the man's girlfriend made a 10th call, he was dead. "I sat up here with him, watching him die," she tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They didn't do their jobs like they were supposed to." Public Safety Director Michael Huss agreed: "We should have gotten there. It's that simple."
(More 911 stories.)

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