One New EMT and loving mother to five children who officials say had been “bravely doing her job” was killed after being run over when a man stole her own ambulance.
Events of the Evening
Yadira Arroyo, a 44 year old New York City EMT was responding to an emergency call on Thursday evening in NYC’s Bronx area when she and her work partner were alerted of a man who had been riding along the rear bumper of the ambulance, said Daniel Nigro, Fire Commissioner.
“So, they stopped the ambulance, they got out to see what was happening. This person, in turn, went around the other side of the ambulance and got into the driver’s side,” said Nigro.
The man got inside the driver’s seat and put their ambulance in the reverse gear, hitting Arroyo as she stood behind the ambulance. She then fell and was caught underneath the wheels, said fire officials.
“They were acting very bravely. They certainly wanted to continue on their way to the call. This person had no business being in this ambulance,” said Nigro.
A video posted to Twitter by one witness showed the vehicle speeding over an intersection as one of the doors remained open, the lights flashing, and the EMT’s body dragging underneath.
The ambulance later crashed into a few parked cars, getting stuck on the nearby snowbank. One K-9 Metropolitan Transportation Authority officer then subdued the suspect, 25 years old, with a bystander’s help.
“I want to thank those good Samaritans who helped apprehend the perpetrator,” said NY Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement while visiting the hospital. “A lot of heroism was on display amidst a great tragedy.”
Police had not immediately identified the suspect who had been arrested.
Arroyo had been a fire department veteran of 14 years.