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Walters EMS responds to inmate's death

Walters_The Walters Ambulance Service says the inmate who died in the Cotton County Jail might still be alive had he received better and more timely care. 67- year-old Daniel Ritchie was in the jail December 10th when he died of an apparent heart attack.

  Friday was the first time Walters EMS talked to 7NEWS with cameras rolling. They answered questions that Daniel Ritchie's family has been waiting for. Questions like, why didn't EMT's take Ritchie to the hospital the first time he had chest pains? That was at 2:30 a.m. EMS says the jail administrator wouldn't allow EMT's to take him in. "The jail didn't want to send him. They said he was feeling better but if he did start feeling worse that they would call us back or they would transport him themselves," said Walter EMS Assistant Director Jeff Miller. But the jail never called back or brought Ritchie in. "The only time we heard from the jail was at 2:30 that morning," said Miller.

   EMS also tells 7NEWS Ritchie's nitroglycerin, a medication he took for his heart, was past its expiration date. They say jail staff should have known better than to give him that medicine, even though Ritchie brought it from home. "I don't know what the medicine will actually do but I have heard that it's not good," said Miller.

   Miller says if things had gone differently that morning, Ritchie may still be alive today.

   The Sheriff's Department declined comment on this new information from Walters EMS. We know that an attorney in Oklahoma City will be representing Ritchie's family in their wrongful death lawsuit. He's sent letters to Walters requesting video and paperwork of the events that occurred the morning Ritchie died.

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