Pregnant driver forced into labor after allegedly being hit head-on by EMS worker

WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- A Wake County EMS worker is facing driving while impaired charges in connection with a head-on accident that injured a 9-month pregnant driver - forcing doctors to induce labor - and her young family Wednesday morning.

Authorities said they believed 26-year-old Jonathan Fortney had prescription drugs in his system when he crashed his 2005 Ford Taurus into the family's 2007 Toyota Sienna van just after 7:30 a.m. on Hodge Road and Lynnwood Estates Drive in Knightdale.

The driver of the van, 23-year-old Jessica Hughes, who is 9 months pregnant, was taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries. Her husband, 24-year-old Jonathan Hughes suffered minor injuries. The couple's 2-year-old son and 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter also suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Jonathan Hughes told ABC11 that doctors were concerned about their baby, so they had to induce his wife's labor after the crash.

"She couldn't feel the baby moving at first and that's when I started freaking out and jumped out and ran over to check on her and check on the kids and they were screaming," said Hughes.

Jessica Hughes later delivered a "healthy as can be" baby boy Thursday morning, according to the family. Hughes told ABC11 that Isaiah was born at 5:05 a.m. and was 7lbs 6oz, and 21" long.

Meahwhile, Hughes said Wednesday that Fortney never once offered to help them.

"He was wearing his uniform," said Hughes. "He just stood there with his hand in his pockets. I was thinking the whole time 'C'mon help us out. You're the EMS'".

Fortney has been charged with DWI and driving left of center. Officials said he was on his way to work and was in uniform at time of the accident.

After Fortney faced a magistrate at the Wake County jail, a Wake EMS representative was seen outside the jail putting Fortney's uniform into an emergency vehicle.

"We are taking this seriously, launching an internal investigation, and then will determine what comes next," Wake EMS spokesperson Jeff Hammerstein said.

He also said Fortney was not assigned to a driving vehicle or providing patient care. He started working for Wake County in March.

Fortney has been released from jail on a 5,000 bond. His next court date is October 26.

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