911 Operator Who Refused To Send Ambulance Now Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

A 911 operator in rural Pennsylvania who refused to send an ambulance to a home where a woman was bleeding internally is now being charged with involuntary manslaughter for that woman’s death.

Leon “Lee” Price, 50, of Waynesburg was charged last week by Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the Associated Press reports. The department has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

In addition to involuntary manslaughter, the dispatcher was charged with reckless endangerment, and official oppression and obstruction regarding the July 2020 death of Diania Kronk, 54.

Kronk’s daughter Kelly Titchenell, 38, had made the 911 call while driving to her mother’s home in Waynesburg from her own in Mather. She expressed fear in the call that without medical help her mother was “going to die.” During the call, Price repeatedly wanted to make sure that Kronk would be “willing to go.” Meanwhile, Tichenell insisted that her mother would be.

“She’s going to go, she’s going to go,” Titchenell insisted in the call, according to the Associated Press. “Cause if not, she’s going to die, there’s nothing else.”

No ambulance was sent to the woman’s home.

A day after the call, Kronk died of internal bleeding.

“I believe she would be alive today if they would have sent an ambulance,” Titchenell told the AP.

Price was arraigned on June 29 and has since been released on bail. Neither he nor his lawyer responded publicly to the allegations.

“It has to be very clear throughout the entire state, that when you call it’s not going to be conditioned on somebody on the other end of the phone saying there’s going to be a service provided or not,” Lawrence E. Bolind Jr., who represents Titchenell in a federal lawsuit filed last month, has stated, according to the Associated Press. “What we’re trying to do here is make this never happen to somebody else.”

On behalf of her mother’s estate, Titchenell is suing both Price, Greene County, and two 911 supervisors. The lawsuit accuses Price of “callous refusal of public emergency medical services," according to the Associated Press.

Marie Milie Jones, a lawyer for the supervisors, maintains that her clients are not liable for Kronk’s death. She said there are “personnel matters that are ongoing."