Nationwide, 911 operators are widely regarded as heroes. The work of these first responders can mean life or death, especially for people who are in vulnerable situations.
However, the magnitude of 911 operators’ jobs goes both ways. Just as proactive measures on their part can save lives, the failure to act when it counts can also place lives in jeopardy.
More often than not, 911 operators do the work they’re supposed to. However, during the rare times they don’t, the outcomes can be devastating.
It is precisely for this reason that one 911 operator based in Pennsylvania is now facing a series of criminal charges.
A Deep Dive Into Charges Against This Operator
Back in July 2020, 911 operator Leon Price got a phone call from the daughter of 50-year-old Diania Kronk.
Price was asked to send an ambulance for Kronk to get to the hospital. Yet, he never honored this request. Eventually, the 50-year-old mother ended up dying.
Instead of sending an ambulance to help Kronk, Price repeatedly questioned whether or not she’d be willing to go to a hospital. The daughter responded to this by saying her mother would be OK with doing this as soon as the ambulance arrived.
A Greene County detective filed charges against Leon Price, of Waynesburg, in the July 2020 death of Diania Kronk, based on Price's reluctance to dispatch help without getting assurance that she would go to the hospital. #FOX13 https://t.co/sbaDZV0Y6T
— FOX 13 Seattle (@fox13seattle) July 10, 2022
However, the 911 operator kept questioning the willingness to go to the hospital, apparently not satisfied with the response from Kronk’s daughter.
Now, Price is being charged with official oppression, reckless endangerment, obstruction, and involuntary manslaughter.
Reactions From Law Enforcement and More
Dave Russo, the district attorney of Greene County, is the one prosecuting Price. In a public statement, Russo said Price’s refusal to send an ambulance to Kronk poses more questions about the overall safety of the community.
The Greene County district attorney is also reviewing whether or not 911 operators are ever given leeway to deny service when they’re called.
“I believe she would be alive today if they would have sent an ambulance,” Kelly Titchenell said of her mom, Diania Kronk, who died of internal bleeding in July 2020. https://t.co/5kutYzh8l5
— NECN (@NECN) July 8, 2022
Meanwhile, the daughter of Diania Kronk is suing Greene County, 911 managers, and Price for the death of her mother. She maintains that what happened to her mother is “unheard of,” especially since ambulances are routinely sent out for all sorts of reasons.
A lawyer for Greene County has stated there will be no official statement released on the passing of Kronk.