TWO paramedics were taken to hospital after their ambulance was written off in a four-vehicle smash.

Three cars ploughed into the side of the private ambulance, belonging to Abacus, because of heavy fog in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Paramedics Nadia Georgiou, 35, and Andre Tyburski, 38, were at Sadlers Farm roundabout, Benfleet, making their way off the A13 on to the A130 when the collision happened at about 1am.

They were both taken to Southend Hospital for treatment after suffering whiplash.

The pair were discharged and are recovering at home, but are not due to return to work for some time.

John Evans, director of Abacus Ambulance Service based in St Luke's Road, Southend, saw the aftermath of the crash, but did not realise his staff and one of his ambulances were involved until he received a phone call.

He explained: “I had just been out to a show in London and was on my way back down the A13. There was a little bit of fog first of all and then it got worse until all of a sudden you couldn’t see anything at all.

“I slowed right down and as I went under the A130 bridge. I saw lots of flashing lights and then the phone went and it wasNadia saying they had been involved in a crash.

“I could tell straight away how shaken up she was.

“The ambulance is completely smashed to pieces. Losing one of the vehicles is really going to hit us hard, but I guess it could have been a lot worse.”

Abacus Ambulance Service provides specialist transport for private healthcare providers.

The company has ten vehicles – six of which are fully-equipped ambulances.

Mrs Georgiou’s husband George, of Somerset Avenue, Westcliff, said: “Nadia is really shaken up. She won’t be going back to work for some time.

She was in quite a bad way because the cars went into the passenger side where she was sitting.

“Luckily they weren’t heading out on a job, or else that could have caused some serious problems.

“They had just finished their shift and were about to head home when the crash happened.”