HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A woman is said to have climbed into the driver’s seat of an ambulance to “follow another ambulance” before being stopped by a fire truck on Highway 17.
A police report from the Horry County Police Department says that Laurie Leone took the ambulance while Horry County Fire Rescue crews were responding to a medical emergency on Village Point Drive in Little River on Monday.
Leone was in the back of the ambulance on a stretcher being examined by EMS personnel.
According to the report, a fire truck started to pull away and those inside noticed the ambulance started to drive away as well.
A short time later, an EMS worker still at the scene noticed the ambulance was missing and said they saw it following the fire engine down River Hills Drive before it turned Northbound on Highway 17.
The EMS worker notified the fire engine that Leone was in the ambulance following them, without the EMS personnel inside.
The driver of the fire engine stopped and exited the vehicle in the Northbound lane on Highway 17. Leone stopped the ambulance she was driving and also got out.
She told them that she took the ambulance to follow another ambulance because she needed help.
The first responders on assisted Leone into the back of the ambulance to perform a medical evaluation and check her vitals, but she said did not want to go to the hospital.
Horry County Police Department arrived on scene a short time later and read Leone her Miranda Rights.
This is when Leone admitted to getting into the driver's seat of the ambulance at the original incident location on River Hills Drive, and driving the ambulance, following the fire engine for around one-quarter of a mile before the fire engine made a stop to see who was driving the ambulance.
Leone said that she saw a fire engine which reminded her of her dad so she decided to follow it in the unattended ambulance.
She was then cleared by EMS and questioned by both Horry County Fire Rescue and officers on scene basic knowledge questions to test her levels of being alert and oriented. During this time she successfully and accurately answered the basic knowledge questions and denied the use of any drugs prior to the incident.
Leone was placed into custody and transported to North Myrtle Beach Jail. She’s charged with Grand Larceny.