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Unplowed Side Street Snarls Ambulance In Emergency

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An ambulance gets mired in snow Thursday. (CBS)

An ambulance gets mired in snow Thursday. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Lingering snow drifts on Chicago’s residential side streets are an annoyance to many, but they became a matter of life and death for one South Side resident Thursday evening.

CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl watched from the air as an ambulance became mired in nearly 2 feet of snow on the unplowed St. Lawrence Avenue at 66th Street.

A female, middle-aged stroke victim was loaded onto the ambulance but the vehicle became stuck. The driver rocked the vehicle back and forth, and it got wedged dangerously close to a fire hydrant.

Two firefighters and one of the paramedics finally pushed it of the worst snow. But ten minutes were wasted.

“It’s sad,” the stroke victim’s granddaughter, Elaine Naylor, told CBS 2′s Mike Parker when asked about the snow impediment.

St. Lawrence is one of a half-dozen streets in the area that had not been touched by city plows. Most of the side streets have receiving what appear to be single passes with a small plow, creating a passable route.

The alleys where many people park in garages have not received that much attention. In one alley, a plow piled snow in the middle of the pathway before stopping.

City crews typically focus on major arteries during a major snowfall, then move on to side streets. With this week’s blizzard, some residents in the city’s deeper pockets are still wedged in.

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