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Home  |  News  |  Video shows alleged DUI wreck that injured 1st responders, others

Video shows alleged DUI wreck that injured 1st responders, others
Tuesday, June 11, 2013


NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have released dash camera video of an alleged DUI wreck that injured several people in North Charleston on Saturday.

The video shows emergency personnel on scene at 3940 Ashley Phosphate Road attending to a wreck that happened earlier. A car, which authorities say was driven by Felix Garcia-Romero, can be seen crashing into a car and several people including two emergency responders.

Later in the video, a police officer can be seen questioning Garcia-Romero.

Officials with the North Charleston Fire Department say one of responders injured in the accident remains in the hospital.

Engineer Darin Kingery, a 12-year veteran with the department suffered multiple fractures following the early Saturday morning crash. Kingery is in the Intensive Care Unit at the Medical University of South Carolina.

According to NCFD officials, a second firefighter, Joshua Sader, who's been with the department for six months, was treated and released the night of the crash.

Garcia-Romero, who is accused of injuring the responders and four other victims, is facing $300,000 in citations after crashing through an accident scene on 3940 Ashley Phosphate Road. North Charleston police say the 27-year-old man is charged with three felony counts of driving under the influence after sending a firefighter, paramedic, and four others to the hospital.

He remained behind bars at the Charleston County Detention Center Monday after he was issued a $300,000 bond over the weekend.

According to a release, North Charleston Fire Department and Charleston County EMS responded to a collision at 3940 Ashley Phosphate Road at 1:44 a.m. where a disabled car was in the street following a collision with another car.

A police report states a black Honda traveling northbound, crossed over into southbound traffic in order to avoid hitting the fire truck, which NCFD officials say was placed on the roadway in a defensive position, that was blocking traffic.

According to authorities, the Honda then hit the Chevy and then struck five pedestrians, including the two responders.

The officer reported that when he approached the driver, later identified as Garcia, he observed Garcia not wearing a seatbelt, had an odor of alcohol coming from him and had blood shot eyes.

Police say when Garcia was escorted to a patrol car, he was "very unstable on his feet."

Officers reported that Garcia, who told officers that he had two drinks, needed assistance in order to avoid falling. Garcia was then arrested for driving under the influence.

Investigators say they found an expired insurance card inside Garcia's car. According to police, Garcia did not have a valid driver's license.

All of the injured parties, which comprised of three 18-year-old girls, a female juvenile and the two responders, were transported to a local hospital by EMS. According to a report by the NCPD, three of the victims suffered broken legs and "many other injuries."

Garcia was escorted to MUSC where he was checked out and released to police. A North Charleston Fire Department release states a preliminary investigation into the crash indicates that the responders on scene were wearing ANSI approved reflective vests, per department guidelines.

Marlene Hayward's 18-year-old daughter was driving early Saturday morning when she got into the accident, which emergency crews were first responding to. But the teen wasn't injured until the second crash..

Hayward's daughter is suffering from a broken leg in 3 places. Hayward says her daughter isn't talking much about the accident yet, but remembers the moment she realized her leg was broken.

"She felt a lot of pain, she went to move her leg and she said it just wobbled. She put it back and then said the paramedics came over to her and said to breathe in deeply and breathe out," said Hayward.

Just graduating from Wando High School, Hayward says instead of focusing on college in the fall, her daughter now has physical therapy all summer.

"She had to have a rode put in and a plate behind her ankle and a bolt to hold those things together. Her hopes were to save enough money during the summer and purchase a car so she could get back and forth to school," said Hayward.

There were two other girls with her daughter. One of them also ended up with a broken leg. Hayward says they were only a couple of miles away from home.

"They were going to spend the night at the house that night. They got together and they went out for a little while and they were headed home when the accident occurred. You got innocent people that are suffering because of his choices he made," said Hayward.

Hayward is rooting for her daughter as she recovers in the tough months ahead.

"I know the angels were watching her, were all over her and I know with the help of my Lord and Savor she will make a 100 percent recovery," said Hayward.

Garcia-Romero was also charged with not having a license or insurance and not wearing a seat belt.

Source: http://www.wistv.com/story/22538139/vehicle-drives-through-accident-scene-injuring-6-driver-charged-with-dui

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