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17-Dec-2018 - A grieving family was joined by dozens of Hidalgo County public safety personnel Monday night during a community vigil for Felipe Huerta Jr., 32, EMS medic and Marine veteran, who died Sunday while on duty after being struck by a suspected drunken driver.
Red and blue lights from police, constable and state trooper patrol units, as well as from fire engines, lit up the otherwise dark parking lot of the Peñitas Fire Department.
Huerta died Sunday evening after another driver crashed head-on into his ambulance on E. Monte Cristo Road in Edinburg.
The passenger Huerta was transporting, 68-year-old Delia Cortines, was also killed, and his co-worker, 24-year-old EMS medic Andrea Rodriguez, was seriously injured. As of Monday night, Rodriguez remained hospitalized in critical condition.
Huerta, a Marine veteran who was twice deployed to Afghanistan and was awarded a Purple Heart, joined Hidalgo County EMS three-and-a-half years ago.
Hidalgo County EMS is a private ambulance service contracted by various cities throughout the county, including Peñitas, the city where Huerta was born.
The driver, who has only been identified as a 34 year-old male, backed his 2011 Ford F-250 truck out of a Dollar General parking lot at a high speed, striking an incoming vehicle. His truck was subsequently pushed into oncoming traffic, hitting the ambulance head-on.
According to Edinburg police, the driver is in police custody and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on criminal charges since alcohol is believed to have played a factor.
Monday’s vigil was organized by the Hidalgo County EMS paramedics stationed at the Peñitas fire department in honor of Huerta, Cortines and all public safety employees who put their lives on the line.
A GoFundMe page for Felipe Huerta's family is here ... and please keep his loved ones, the fallen patient's family, Huerta's partner medic Andrea Rodriguez and all our public safety officials in Hidalgo county in your thoughts and prayers.
On 18-Dec-2018 Mitchell Garcia Treviño, 34, was arraigned on 2 counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault, felony charges carrying up to 20 and 10 years in prison, respectively. Treviño crashed head-on into a Hidalgo County EMS ambulance Sunday after he backed his F-250 truck out of a Dollar General parking lot at a high rate of speed striking an incoming vehicle. The impact pushed him into oncoming traffic and in the ambulance’s path killing EMS medic Felipe Huerta Jr., 32, and patient Delia Cortines, 68. Medic Andrea Rodriguez, 24, remains hospitalized. Treviño told investigators that he drank “six to eight Bud Light beers” before the crash ~ he also was arrested in 2011 on a driving while intoxicated charge. Read more