New Mexico: Helicopter struck by suspected drunk driver near Gallup

McKinley County Sheriff’s deputies say an alleged drunk driver ran through barricades to strike a fire truck and medical helicopter.Frank Hernandez was at the scene and witnessed the crash. Hernandez works for Speedway Towing in Gallup. He was at the site of a crash to tow away a vehicle that had rolled over -- the wreck that the medical helicopter was responding to.

“Then I noticed after we got the vehicle picked up, this black Jeep flew past us,” said Hernandez. “I was thinking, 'What the heck is this guy doing?' Because they had people out there trying to stop traffic, already he almost hit two ladies.”

Hernandez says the Jeep plowed through the barrier around the medical helicopter before hitting the fire truck and then the helicopter. The driver has been identified as 26-year-old Glenn Livingston of Gallup.

“Our medical team did an outstanding job. The patient was extremely critical, they maintained composure, they were professional and the stabilized this patient despite the incident that occurred on the scene,” said Regional Director Julia Azua. The patient made it safely to the hospital due to the medical crew’s efforts.

Hernandez says the accident wasn’t even a surprise. “You’ve got to be pretty drunk. I’ve seen them where they’ve taken vehicles off the road and they don’t know they did that, or not,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez says he estimates about 95% of the cars in his lot were destroyed due to drunk drivers. Livingston was arrested and is facing charges that include aggravated DWI and having an open container of alcohol.

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