Firefighters narrowly avoid injury when DWI suspect barrels into rig

The driver slammed into the passenger side of the ambulance; none of the firefighters working 10 feet away were hurt

By Matt Peterson
The Dallas Morning News

GARLAND, Texas — Garland firefighters narrowly avoided injury early Saturday when a drunken driving suspect barreled into their ambulance — but they ran to the man's rescue just the same.

Authorities say the brand-new ambulance was parked along Interstate 30 about 2 a.m. after responding to an earlier crash near the Bobtown Road exit, police said.

That's when a pickup driven by Emilio Hernandez crossed through emergency flares laid out on the highway and slammed into the passenger side of the ambulance, according to police.

The ambulance did its job: None of the firefighters working 10 feet away were hurt, and they even hustled over to Hernandez's vehicle to see if he was OK.


Last night we had our newest ambulance hit by a suspected DWI driver on I-30. The ambulance blocked for 5 firefighters...

Posted by Garland Firefighters Association on Saturday, April 22, 2017

"This unit saved the lives of 5 firefighters so while we were sad to sacrifice it this was a small price to pay to save 5 lives," said a post on the Garland Firefighters Association's Facebook page. "Lives were saved and a beautiful new ambulance was our hero."

Hernandez, 39, was hospitalized with a foot injury and was expected to face a charge of driving while intoxicated. He was also charged with cocaine possession.

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