Toddler from Wise killed in NC ambulance crash


The driver of the vehicle that hit the ambulance faces charges including driving while intoxicated.

The boy was being taken to the hospital trauma center around 1am Sunday when a drunk driver - who turned out to be an illegal immigrant - hit the medical transport, causing it to roll over on its side, police said.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, police say Romero was driving on US 52 South in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when he struck the ambulance. Federal authorities also believe Romero was in the country illegally. Both drivers lost control.

The accident happened on U.S. Highway 52 while the boy and his mother were being transported to a Winston-Salem hospital early Sunday morning. The Accord, driven by Jose Martin Duran Romero, 27, of Neston Drive, ran off the road, police said. As of Sunday night, the baby was listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

The two paramedics in the ambulance were treated for minor injuries, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Tuesday. He's charged with DWI, failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash and driving without a license.

Officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Department of Homeland Security use immigration detainers when there are potentially deportable individuals being held in jails and prisons nationwide. He has been released from the jail after posting a $1,000 bond, the sheriff's office said.

Court documents give more details about what happened after the crash.

Jose Duran Romero, 27, blew a 0.19 on a breathalyzer almost two hours after the crash, more than twice the legal limit, FOX8 Winston-Salem reported late Monday. One of the men was immediately detained by one of the witnesses of the crash, Newnum said.

According to court documents, a witness told police after the crash that Romero had "bloodshot, glassy eyes", slurred speech" and looked "grossly impaired'.

Two hours after the crash, Romero submitted to a breathalyzer and registered more than two times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

Romero is being held on an immigration detainer and will next appear in court on April 17.