An EMT was killed in Thursday in New York City in a horrifying accident after a man tried to steal an ambulance.
According to the New York Post, Yadira Arroyo, an EMT for the Fire Department of New York City, was driving her ambulance with her partner in the Bronx yesterday when a man jumped on the rear bumper, apparently looking for a joyride. The paramedics had no idea he was there until a a fellow driver pointed it out to them. Knowing the man could be harmed, Arroyo and the partner stopped the vehicle and attempted to pry him off.
But instead, the suspect jumped into the driver’s seat and took control of the ambulance. Arroyo tried to stop him, at one point clinging to the side of the ambulance. She was reportedly dragged forward several feet before getting stuck under the vehicle and suffering fatal injuries. The 44-year-old mother of five was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital.
Arroyo’s partner, Monique Williams, suffered minor injuries. cuts and bruises in the incident on White Plains Road at about 7 p.m.
The horrifying accident shocked onlookers.
“They were screaming. They were crying. Everyone was trying to help,” witness Virgilio German told the Post. “I heard somebody crying and then I heard, ‘Boom!’ like an accident. There were two paramedics. They were down on the floor. She wasn’t moving.”
Someone posted a video on social media showing what appears to be the vehicle rolling over Arroyo and veering wildly with the driver’s door wide open. On Wednesday night, a Twitter account possibly associated with the NYPD posted a tweet appearing to call the authenticity of the video into question, but the message has since been deleted.
The suspect was stopped a short distance away on Watson Avenue when he hit another car. According to the New York Daily News, the NYPD has identified him as Jose Gonzalez, who reportedly has a prior criminal record.
“It’s a sad night for everyone in the department,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters.