Former Taos County Sheriff had his grandkids in the backseat, ages 10 and 7. He was on State Road 518 stopped in the center turn lane about to pull onto Archuleta Road, which is in front of the Talpa Community Center. Suddenly, he saw an ambulance headed west, followed by a small black pickup traveling at a high rate of speed.
Updated June 7 at 3 p.m.
Twenty-nine-year-old Danielle Rodriguez of Peñasco sustained serious injuries Friday morning (June 7) after her truck rolled and she was ejected in a collision with another vehicle on State Road 518 in Talpa.
Former Taos County Sheriff Charlie Martinez had his grandkids – ages 10 and 7 – in the backseat of the other vehicle that was involved in the crash. Martinez was stopped in the center turn lane of 518 and was about to pull onto Archuleta Road, which is in front of the Talpa Community Center. Suddenly, he saw an ambulance headed west toward Ranchos de Taos, followed by a small black pickup traveling at a high rate of speed, he said.
The pickup was in the middle lane headed right for Martinez. “I thought I’m going to take this head-on here, and I’m stopped,” Martinez said at the scene. “That would have been worse. Finally, at the last second I tried to get out of the way. I thought I was going to be able to make it and that’s when she started skidding. That’s when she hit me.”
The Toyota pickup Rodriguez was driving flipped over and crashed in the street, sending debris over a wide area Friday morning (June 7). Rodriguez was ejected from the vehicle and was lying in the street when emergency services arrived on the scene. She was quickly transported by a separate ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital. Taos County Sheriff’s deputies closed State Road 518 to traffic while law enforcement investigated the scene.
Chris Medina with EMS said Rodriguez was not involved with the patient being transported in the first ambulance. "The truck was on its own and following the ambulance for unknown reasons. We always inform people not to follow ambulances when we use lights and sirens for obvious safety reasons."
Martinez said the children were shaken by the incident but did not appear to be physically hurt. EMS personnel were seen checking them out as a precaution.
"The exact cause, speed, and other factors leading up to the crash remain under investigation. Alcohol impairment is not believed to be a contributing factor," reads a press release prepared by Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, who commended the medics who responded to the scene of the crash.
This is a developing story.
Reporter John Miller contributed to this report.
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