A baby boy that was injured in a crash involving an ambulance in Winston-Salem has died. 27-year-old Jose Duran Romero crashed a Honda Accord into the side of a Mercedes Lifecare Ambulance on southbound U.S. 52 around 0115 hours Sunday. The ambulance rolled over on its side and the Honda ran off the road. The child was stable during the initial transport to a regional trauma center.
Romero’s blood-alcohol content was at more than twice the legal limit and he didn’t have a driver’s license. Local Fire & EMS responded, EMS rushed the baby, the mother and two paramedics inside the ambulance (driver EMT Joshua Dewayne Church, 34, and Paramedic Rickey Clayton Ratliff, 55) to the hospital-but the baby succumbed. The mother and EMS crew suffered non life threatening injuries.
Romero is in jail on a $50,000 secured bond. He’s charged with DWI, failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash and driving without a license. Federal authorities also put Romero under an immigration detainer. The detainer will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to take Romero into custody once he is released from local custody. Romero’s passenger, Andres Leon, 33, is charged with failing to render aid and give information. He was given a $1,000 bond and Forsyth County Jail officials say he was not in the jail as of Sunday night.
A witness described what Romero looked like to police after the crash. He had “bloodshot, glassy eyes,” “slurred speech” and looked “grossly impaired.”
Romero blew a 0.19 on a breathalyzer nearly two hours after the crash; that’s more than twice the legal limit. Court documents also show Romero has never had a driver’s license. He will be in court for a first appearance hearing Tuesday morning and has another court hearing scheduled for April.