By Harry Keaney
"I am not a criminal," Anne Lamberson, the Derry-born ambulance driver charged with the deaths of three Brooklyn children in a crash last year, told the Echo Monday.
The prosecutor in the case, Joseph Petrosino, said he is ready to go ahead with Lamberson’s trial on Sept. 24 in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
However, Petrosino said he did not know if Lamberson’s attorney, Michael Dowd, would be ready to proceed.
"I do not know if he will be asking for an adjournment," Petrosino added.
Dowd, who’s on vacation, was unavailable for comment.
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Lamberson herself told the Echo that although she goes back to court on Sept. 24, she doesn’t know what will going to happen.
Lamberson has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and reckless homicide after the ambulance she was driving on an emergency run went through a red light and collided with the car of Angela Igwe.
Three of Igwe’s children were killed in the Sept. 30, 1998 collision. Igwe and another daughter were critically injured.
Emergency vehicles may pass through red lights if they exercise proper caution and do not endanger life. Prosecutors in the case, however, believe there is enough evidence to prove Lamberson acted recklessly, causing the deaths of the three children.
Speaking to the Echo, Lamberson described the collision between Igwe’s vehicle and the ambulance she was driving as "a tragic accident."
"It’s terrible, I have been sick with it," she said. "It was a fatal, tragic accident," she added. "I was going to help somebody that night and it was unfortunate that we met with that car. I was out working, doing my job. I worked from 4 to midnight. I am not a criminal."
Lamberson said it was terrible for Mrs. Igwe too, adding that when people say they pray for her, she also asks them to pray for Mrs. Igwe.
As a mother of a 4-year old son who died from cancer, Lamberson said she knows what it’s like to lose a child.
Lamberson, who has a 3-year-old daughter, said she prays "they won’t send me to jail."
But, she said, "it’s not in my hands."