Tow truck driver who stopped to help killed in crash on I-40

Six vehicle crash ends in fatality, eastbound I-40 reopened Coors_1546471393208.jpg.jpg

The snow and ice caused more than a hundred crashes all across New Mexico. A six-car pileup overnight on I-40 killed a Good Samaritan who stopped to help a State Police officer.

Friends and coworkers of Pat Cisneros said he’s the kind of guy who is always willing to help and his selflessness cost him his life.

Winter weather is showing no mercy on Albuquerque’s roads, and early Wednesday morning around 1:00, the roads turned deadly.

A State Police officer was investigating a crash on I-40 near Coors when a semi rammed into the officer’s patrol car. Soon after, Pat Cisneros, a Madrid tow truck driver, came across the crash and pulled over to help.

“Several people I talked to, and myself included, kind of had a strange feeling like something doesn’t just feel right,” said Cisnero’s boss Gerald Madrid. “And then I turn on the local news and I saw that there was a major accident at six and I-40 with a tow truck involved.”

State Police said Cisneros was standing outside when a semi hit him. He died at the scene.

“He left this earth doing what he loved to do,” said Madrid. “And ultimately he was out helping someone else when this accident happened.” 

A few minutes later, a fourth semi side-swiped another semi as the driver tried to avoid the crash that killed Cisneros.

“It’s dangerous work as we saw what happened,” said Madrid.

Madrid said Cisneros was always helpful. He leaves behind a wife and family he always talked about.

“I know that they have grandkids because Pat spoke of them, and I think the ironic thing is I think today is his grandbaby’s birthday, and Pat died on his grandbaby’s birthday,” said Madrid.

Calls of condolences have flooded telephones at Madrid Towing. Even the mayor and the Albuquerque Police Chief sent out a heartfelt message to the Cisneros family, saying tow truck drivers are among the hundreds of selfless first-responders who put themselves in harm’s way during storms.

“That’s one thing I would like to come out of this situation that tow truck drivers are recognized that they are first responders,” said Madrid.

Madrid has a final message for his friend.

“Pat, we’re gonna miss you,” said Madrid.

The city has a contract with Madrid Towing, so they work every day with officers to help drivers. Cisneros’ Facebook page is filled with condolences, including one calling him a special man and wonderful father.

The State Police officer whose car was hit by a semi had minor injuries. Investigators are still looking into how fast the semis were going when the crashes happened.

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