A community is grieving over the loss of an EMT killed in a crash while driving her ambulance.
Gina Ayers, 57, died after a car hit the ambulance head-on on Canton Highway in Forsyth County Thursday morning.
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Channel 2′s Brian Mims learned that Ayers was an emergency medical technician for 12 years and was married to a Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy.
Investigators say just before 7 a.m. Thursday, she was driving an ambulance in the center lane of Highway 20 near Friendship Circle.
The ambulance, with no patients inside, had its siren and emergency lights on and was in a turn lane to avoid traffic.
Georgia State Patrol says that’s when the driver of a Ford Mustang swerved to miss a tractor-trailer which had completely stopped for the ambulance.
The Mustang and the ambulance collided.
Ayers died in the hospital. Four other people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Jason Shivers is the division chief for the Forsyth County Fire Department.
He remembers what he calls Ayers’ “grand smile.”
“Gina was a hard worker. She was the quintessential public safety worker. She loved her job. She loved helping people,” Shivers said. “She did die doing what she loved to do, and that was service the public, serving the people of Forsyth County.”
Ayers worked for Central EMS, which posted a statement on its Facebook page, which said, in part:
“She had a huge personality, and words cannot describe how strong, passionate and loving she was. Gina also had a heart for children and the less fortunate, volunteering at local schools and sitting with patients in nursing homes.”
Ayers is survived by her husband, Forsyth County Deputy Sheriff Tony Saindzier, and their two adult daughters, Abigail and Corinne.
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Her partner, paramedic Kristi Adams, is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries she received during the crash.
“She can’t be replaced. Gina was wonderful. We all loved her and she’s definitely gonna leave a void that we’re gonna feel for a long time to come,” Shivers said.
The driver of the Mustang is 48-year-old Blanco Rodolfo of Cumming.
Rodolfo was hospitalized following the crash and is expected to recover.
GSP says Rodolfo is expected to face charges, but have not yet detailed what they will be.