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Madison woman dies after banging head in ambulance on way to hospice facility


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An 85-year-old Madison woman has died, after she banged her head in an ambulance that slammed on the brakes while transporting her husband to a hospice facility.

Laurel Huibregtse died at UW Hospital, just hours before her 86-year-old husband Donald passed away at the hospice home where he was taken in Fitchburg. Both died on Tuesday, a day after the mishap.

Fitchburg Police said the ambulance driver suddenly hit the brakes to avoid hitting a vehicle that was stopped behind another vehicle that was waiting to make a “U”-turn.

Lieutenant Chad Brecklin said there was not a collision – but the impact of the braking forced Laurel Huibregtse to slide off her seat in the back of the ambulance and hit her head. Brecklin said the matter is still being investigated, but he does not expect criminal charges to be filed. He calls it a tragic accident.

The ambulance driver and an attendant were not injured.

A relative said Donald Huibregtse died after a long battle with cancer. He’s a former publisher of the Monona Community Herald and McFarland Community Life.