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by Jeff Rasansky - December 21, 2012
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

The Bear Creek apartment complex in North Dallas was a busy place on November 16.  At 2:44 a.m., Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics responded to a 911 call for medical assistance from the Bear Creek apartments on Bent Tree Forest Circle.  At 2:55 a.m. 911 received a second call from the same apartment complex.

Twenty-year-old Matthew Sanchez had been taking Xanax pills for several hours when he collapsed on the floor of his Bear Creek apartment. At 2:55 his friend called 911 and asked for help. The friend was smoking marijuana. He was worried about consequences of interacting with the police and left the building after making the call. No one was sent to help. Six hours later, Sanchez’s family came to his apartment and found him dead. The last number dialed on his phone was 911.

Why didn’t help arrive? According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, the first responders followed proper procedure when they asked the first patient to verify that the phone number from the second call was her number. The numbers were similar, and, while the patient confirmed the phone number, it was a mistake. The patient’s mental state is not known, but one can only assume that the stress of a medical emergency might affect a patient’s memory. The EMT’s assumed they were being called to the same incident and did not check for additional victims. No one checked the address.

The family is blaming Sanchez’s Dallas wrongful death on 911 error.

Dallas Fire-Rescue is investigating the incident. This is the third time in recent months that a 911 call has been investigated.

  • In July, a home in east Oak Cliff burned to the ground while seven separate callers tried to reach 911. They were not successful. It took nine minutes from the initial call for firefighters to respond. There were no injuries.
  • In August, a woman was strangled while speaking to a 911 operator. The operator did not tell police that the situation was urgent. The woman’s body was found two days later.
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