Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Willie Lovett announced the death of the 2013 EMS Dispatcher of the Year in a traffic accident Tuesday afternoon on Veterans Parkway.
Keri Clark, 23, had worked in the communications department for two years.
“As a 911 dispatcher, Keri Clark was constantly involved in saving lives,” Lovett said. “Almost every member of this department at some time probably has depended on her for vital information. This was a shock to our entire communications department and the rest of us are saddened as well.”
She was named Dispatcher of the Year by the Chatham County EMS Council in May for her work involving a suicidal woman in the early morning hours of March 8.
Clark spent nearly an hour on the phone with the woman as officers scoured the area to locate her in a remote area near the Talmadge Bridge. The woman later called the communications center and Clark personally to thank her for taking the time to listen to her.
Clark died Tuesday afternoon after the car she was driving collided with the rear of stopped Chatham County truck.
She died of her injuries at Memorial University Medical Center. Theodore Lee Holmes, 53, driver of the 1994 International 4700 stake body truck, was transported to Memorial for treatment of non-life threatening injuries after the 12:54 p.m. crash.
Clark was driving a red 2008 Dodge Avenger in the right southbound lane of Veterans Parkway just north of Highway 204 when it ran into the rear of the truck. The county truck was stationary in the right lane behind a mower cutting grass around the guard rails on Veterans Parkway. "The truck's emergency lights, including the directional arrow, were illuminated and operating," says a spokesman.
Southbound traffic was halted between Chatham Parkway and 204 for several hours.