EMT crew survives crash with DWI driver blowing stop sign


LAS CRUCES, NM – A pair of emergency medical technicians escaped serious injury after their ambulance was struck by a vehicle and rolled onto its side Thursday evening.

The two EMTs, working for American Medical Response ambulance services, were both transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center. Their injuries are not life-threatening.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, May 20, Las Cruces police and fire were dispatched to the report of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Amador Avenue and Water Street. Police arrived to find the AMR ambulance on its side with both occupants trapped within the vehicle. Firefighters had to break the ambulance windshield to successfully extricate the two EMTs.

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Las Cruces police learned the ambulance was headed west on Amador, on the way to another call with lights and siren activated, when it was struck by a Dodge Challenger that was traveling south on Water Street. Witnesses told police the Dodge ran the stop sign.

The driver of the Dodge was identified as 22-year-old Juan Carlos Baquera of Alamogordo, N.M. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI-liquor or drugs, and one count of failure to stop at a posted sign.

Two passengers in Baquera’s vehicle, a woman and a man, both escaped serious injuries.

Police learned that Baquera was arrested on a DWI charge just two days prior, on May 18, by police in Anthony, N.M. He was released on bond that same day.

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Following Thursday’s crash with the ambulance, Baquera was arrested and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond. See less