Injured paramedic makes big strides after head-on crash

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An Allina paramedic who was nearly killed in a head-on collision between an ambulance and SUV last month has made significant progress in his recovery since the accident just one month ago, FOX 9 reports.

Brian Nagel, who was working in the back of ambulance at the time of the Jan. 18 crash near Buffalo, Minnesota, suffered a broken neck, a fractured skull and a head injury. The crash also severely injured the EMT driver, Tim Daly, of Albertville. Daly will be in a wheelchair another six to eight weeks, FOX 9 says.

The Star Tribune says the driver of the SUV, Marilyn Paumen, 51, of Monticello, died from her injuries 11 days after the accident. The patient in the ambulance, Laura Worley, 35, of St. Michael, was transferred to another ambulance and transported to Buffalo Hospital.

Nagel, of Greenwood, spent six days in a coma after the accident and started walking again at the end of January, FOX 9 says. Doctors also had to reconstruct the paramedic's eye after the accident.

Wearing a neck brace, Nagel tells the station that he doesn't remember the accident after he woke up at North Memorial Medical Center. During the time he was out, he believes he had an "out of body" experience where he visited Nicaragua.

Nagel, who is now recovering at home, says he's grateful for the visits in the hospital from Daly, and the support of his fellow paramedics who helped save his life. He's also been touched by the overwhelming support of people on his CaringBridge page, which has been visited more than 60,000 times.

"Sometimes in my business, you see tough things out there and forget there are amazing people out there," Nagel told FOX 9. "It reaffirms the world is good. There is hope out there and love and kindness."

Earlier this month, investigators told FOX 9 that the heavy snow the day of the accident is making it impossible to tell who was at fault in the accident. Investigators said Paumen had a .035 blood alcohol level at the time of the accident, which is well under the .08 legal limit.

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