Friday, June 15, 2012
A 22-year-old oilfield worker was walking home early one morning this
week when he was fatally struck by a private ambulance in an area of
Interstate 35 notorious for poor lighting.
Emergency Medical Technician Janio Martinez was driving the Camino Real Ambulance back to Carrizo Springs after dropping off a patient at a San Antonio hospital
just before 2 a.m. Sunday when he suddenly saw a man trying to cross
the highway south of Moore in Frio County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“The ambulance driver didn't really have any warning at all,” said Sgt. Robert Russell of DPS' Pearsall office. “He was walking at the top of the hill's crest, and the driver had no time to react.”
The ambulance crashed into Michael B. Davalos, who was wearing only shorts and a pair of shoes, Russell said, and appeared to be en route home.
Davalos, who worked for Haliburton, was pronounced dead at the scene. Martinez and his passenger Rick Veliz, also an EMT, were uninjured, but both were shaken up by the crash, said Angel Perez of the company's public relations department.
“It was a big fright for both employees,” Perez said. Martinez “is
one of the more responsible, more careful employees,” he added.
According to Perez, the 3 1/2-year employee was previously a
lieutenant with the Zavala County Sheriff's Office. Reached by phone,
Martinez declined to comment and referred a reporter to his supervisor.
Camino Real drivers travel that stretch of I-35 every time they go to
San Antonio, Perez said, and most know that the area is very dark.
“We've always noticed that,” he said. “This was an unfortunate incident, but it could have happened to anybody.”
Thousands of miles away, Sabastian Manzi awoke hours after the accident and read about the death of his best friend on MySA.com. Stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Manzi said he and Davalos, whom he called ‘Dovi,' had been close for years.
Davalos moved around as a child in an Army family, Manzi said, but
the two met through a mutual friend in high school and immediately
clicked. Recent high school graduates, the two lived together and had
planned on enlisting together, but Davalos was unable to.
“I know without a doubt if he was able to enlist with me during the
final phases, my brother would still be here today and he wouldn't have
been wandering the interstate around 2 a.m.,” Manzi wrote in an email,
adding that he joined the Army a year ago. The two last saw each other
during Manzi's visit home over Christmas.
“Me and him had a long, wild ride together,” he said, “and it's still a shock to me that he is gone.”
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Oilfield-worker-killed-ambulance-driver-shaken-3635820.php#ixzz1xuwQUW1T