ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A person was fatally injured after being struck by an Albuquerque Fire Rescue vehicle that was responding to an aid call early Friday, Nov. 12. The department reports that just after midnight, an AFR ambulance was on the way to a call when it struck a person on the southbound Coors and the eastbound I-40 on-ramp which is near an area where homeless camps are known to pop up. They say the driver of the rescue vehicle hit a man pushing a shopping cart across the roadway.
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“A lot of people like hanging out by the wall and then they just sprint across the freeway which is actually really dangerous but most people don’t really stop. They just honk and they just get out of the way. It is a really big problem. It’s there every time I go to work,” said one Albuquerque driver, Alexis Reyes.
AFR says the truck was on its way to a call with lights and sirens on when the pedestrian was hit. AFR personnel tried to help the man and he was then taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital where he later died. KRQE News 13 saw an ambulance parked at the fire station near the scene late Friday morning with an “out of service” sign but AFR won’t confirm if the vehicle was the one involved in the crash. AFR also won’t confirm if the pedestrian was homeless but it is an area where the homeless frequent.
“It is a sad thing and more than being annoyed, I’m concerned about them because when you’re homeless your stress level is so high that you’re just going from crisis to crisis to crisis,” said one another Albuquerque driver, Nancy Gettangs.
The city’s Solid Waste Department is responsible for cleaning up homeless encampments. The director said they also work with Family and Community Services to help provide the homeless with a safe place to stay. The Albuquerque Police Department says the crash appears to be the result of pedestrian error. At this time, no charges are pending and an investigation is ongoing.