An incident in which a 911 emergency dispatcher told a young caller to “stop whining” after her father was struck and killed by a car along a Maryland highway while changing a flat tire is under investigation, a fire official said on Thursday.
Anne Arundel County Fire Captain Russ Davies said the dispatcher “used a poor choice of words.” He will not work directly with the public until the investigation is complete, Davies said.
The incident took place on Sunday night when Rick Warrick, 38, of Washington, and his fiancée were taking his teenage children to dinner. The car got a flat tire on Interstate 295 near Baltimore and Warrick and his fiancée were struck by a vehicle while changing the tire. The vehicle sped away.
In the 911 call released on Tuesday, a girl tells the dispatcher her father and his fiancée were lying motionless by the side of the road.
“OK, let’s stop whining. OK, let’s stop whining. It’s hard to understand you … two people were struck, correct?” the dispatcher says.
“Is there someone else there I can talk to, because it’s so hard…”
The driver of the hit-in-run vehicle has not been found.
(Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)