Crash victim worked as Vanderbilt ER nurse - WKRN News 2

Crash victim worked as Vanderbilt ER nurse

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Freeda Simmons had worked at Vanderbilt for the last seven years. Freeda Simmons had worked at Vanderbilt for the last seven years.
Freeda's son has said he will dedicate Thursday's basketball game to his mother. Freeda's son has said he will dedicate Thursday's basketball game to his mother.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Employees at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are mourning the loss of a co-worker killed in a tragic accident early Monday morning on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard in Hendersonville.

Freeda Simmons, an emergency room nurse at the Nashville hospital, was on her way home shortly before 5:30 a.m. when she struck a trailer that had come loose from a semi truck after a trash dumpster fell from it.

Simmons was rushed back to the emergency room she'd just left but doctors and nurses were unable to save her.

The 50-year-old mother of five was pronounced dead just after 7:30 a.m.
 
Gary Howard, Director of Emergency Services at the hospital, was on his way into work Monday when he received the call.

"I was on my way in when I got the phone call," he told News 2.  "Other staff recognized her when she came in.  Initially, they were in that roll of caregiver and then pretty quickly after that, the reality set in."
 
Howard said Simmons brought energy to the ER and frequent patients would often ask for her by name.

"She loved her patients, she loved the staff, she loved what she did," he said.  "Patients would come in and ask for Freeda by name.  They'd say, ‘hey, is Freeda working tonight?  I want her to be my nurse', and she was just the kind of nurse you would want taking care of you or your family."

Simmons, who had worked at Vanderbilt for the last seven years, also had a love of art and some of her work is hanging in the halls at the hospital.

Her son, Picasso Simmons, plays basketball for Murray State University in Kentucky.

The school will take on Vanderbilt University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in San Jose on Thursday.

Picasso Simmons has said he will dedicate the game to his mother's honor.

Funeral arrangements for Freeda Simmons are incomplete.

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