A teenage girl who called 911 for help after her father and his fiancée were hit by a car was told by the dispatcher to “stop whining” because it wasn’t helpful.
Rick Warrick, 38, and his fiancée were changing a flat tire Sunday on the BW Parkway when they were hit by a vehicle that didn’t stop, and didn’t call for help. Warrick died from his injuries.
The audio recording of the conversation between Warrick’s daughter and an Anne Arundel County emergency dispatcher shows the girl and her younger brother didn’t know where they were when their father pulled over to switch tires. No other car stopped to help as they waited for police to arrive.
The fatal accident happened after a trip to Arundel Mills mall Sunday night. Warrick, a car salesman from Washington, D.C., and his fiancée had just put the last lug nut on the spare tire when they were hit around 9:15 p.m.
“Ma’am, stop yelling, I need a location,” the operator can be heard telling Warrick’s daughter in portions of the call aired by NBC4.
The teen replies that they are alongside Interstate 295, but she doesn’t have a specific location. She asks several times for help, which the dispatcher says is on the way, but he presses for more information.
Warrick’s daughter tries to describe that both her father and his fiancée are unconscious: “He can’t move, he’s unconscious, I don’t know,” the girl tells the dispatcher.
As he asks more questions on the possible location and condition of the victims, the distraught girl repeats herself.
“OK, let’s stop whining,” the dispatcher says. “OK, let’s stop whining. It’s hard to understand you… two people were struck, correct?”
That rebuke has prompted the Anne Arundel County Fire Department to reassign the dispatcher to duties that exclude public contact, says department spokesman Capt. Russ Davies. Officials are investigating how the call was handled.
“The 911 dispatchers are trained to take control when they get a hysterical caller,” Davies told The Baltimore Sun. “However, he certainly used a poor choice of words. That 911 call did not meet our expectations of how we wanted that call handled and it didn’t meet the public’s expectations of how that call should have been handled.”
Police have not found the driver who hit Warrick and his fiancée. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-610-8737.