New York City

EMT Struck, Killed by Stolen Ambulance in New York City

UPDATE: Alleged Ambulance Hijacker Faces Murder Charges in Death of Longtime FDNY EMT, a Mother of 5

An emergency medical technician died after she was run over by her ambulance that was stolen in the Bronx Thursday, police say.

The EMT, identified as 44-year-old Yadira Arroyo of Station 26, is the eighth member of the FDNY EMS to die in the line of duty, and the third woman EMT to die in the line of duty, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. 

The suspect, 25-year-old Jose Gonzalez of the Bronx, is charged with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, authorities said.

Authorities say Arroyo and her partner, another EMT, were on their way to a call when they were alerted that someone was riding on the back bumper of their ambulance at around 7 p.m. 

Arroyo, who was driving, pulled over at White Plains Road and Watson Avenue in the Bronx and went around to the back of the ambulance.

Gonzalez then "went around the other side of the ambulance and got into the driver's side," Nigro said.

Fire officials said Gonzalez put the ambulance in reverse and ran over Arroyo before driving forward.

Video posted on Twitter by a bystander shows the ambulance speeding across an intersection with one of its doors open, its lights flashing and the body of Arroyo being dragged beneath the vehicle.

The vehicle came to a stop shortly after when it crashed into another vehicle and snow bank. A passing MTA police officer witnessed the crash and immediately pulled over and subdued the suspect with the help of bystanders, authorities said. 

Arroyo's partner, who was in the passenger seat of the ambulance as it was being stolen, suffered minor injuries from struggling with the suspect. She was being treated at a Bronx hospital for emotional trauma, police said.

Authorities initially said two EMTs were struck, but it was later confirmed that only Arroyo was hit by the ambulance. 

The video captured both the arrest of the suspect and a scene of anguish as the passenger EMT kneeled, sobbing, over the body of her fallen partner.

Another neighbor's cellphone video of the aftermath of the crash captured the passenger EMT screaming and wailing repeatedly, "My partner, my partner!" 

Arroyo was the mother of five and a 14-year veteran of the FDNY EMS, according to Mayor de Blasio. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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