ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It took 45 years, but an Albuquerque woman finally met the police officer who saved her life.
“I have three beautiful children, I’ve lived a very full life, I’ve enjoyed travels, I’ve enjoyed marriage, and without him, none of that would’ve happened,” says Jessica Sanchez.
Jessica Sanchez says she was just nine months old when she met now-retired state police officer Felix Crespin. A two-vehicle crash back in 1975, is what brought them together. “It could have been a triple fatal,” Crespin says.
Sanchez says she and her parents were driving home to Las Cruces from Elephant Butte. “A truck veered off of his lane. He was getting ready to make a left-hand turn and veered into my parents’ lane and hit us head-on,” Sanchez says.
Crespin responded to the scene. “I see two little legs sticking out from between the two seats. I thought it was a doll at first,” Crespin says.
“When he pulled me out from between the seats I was blue. He brought me back to life twice,” Sanchez says.
Crespin tried to track down the family but they were transferred to a hospital in Las Cruces where they spent three weeks recovering. “I lived my life knowing I had this hero, this angel,” Sanchez says.
Forty-five years later, their paths crossed again. “When he walked into the restaurant, he had this wonderful cowboy hat on and I thought of the song, ‘My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,’ because he is definitely a cowboy and a hero,” Sanchez says.
Crespin had always wondered what became of the little girl; it was his daughter who ended up finding Sanchez on Facebook. The two set up a reunion in Las Cruces, where she finally got to thank him and introduce him to the family she almost never had.
“Oh, it made me feel great. That’s the only way I can describe it,” Crespin says. The retired police officer now lives in Silver City.
The pickup driver who hit the family also survived. Newspaper clippings from 1975 show he was cited for the crash.