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Published: Thursday, 10/25/2007

Ambulance got lost with dying marathon runner


CHICAGO - The ambulance crew who picked up a dying runner during the Chicago Marathon apparently got lost on the way to a hospital, authorities said.

Chad Schieber, a police officer from Midland, Mich., collapsed while running the Oct. 7 race, and was about six blocks away from the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. An autopsy blamed his death on a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse, though heart experts say the condition is rarely dangerous.

Mr. Schieber, 35, was picked up from the marathon route by an ambulance from Niles, one of 30 suburban crews called to help when hundreds of runners were stricken by that day's hot temperatures.

The crew radioed Chicago dispatchers Mr. Schieber was in full cardiac arrest and said they planned to take him to the UIC Medical Center, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said this week.

The ambulance crew drove a couple blocks in the wrong direction, then flagged down a city ambulance and got instructions, Niles Fire Chief Barry Mueller said. But then they drove past the UIC Medical Center because they couldn't find the emergency room entrance.

They ended up delivering Mr. Schieber to the West Side Veterans Administration Hospital a few blocks away.

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