EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In a span of six days, four El Paso Police units have been hit by drunk drivers.
The El Paso Police Department says there were a total of three incidents, but one where two units were hit. “Unusual in that in a span, since last Friday, so it’s been less than a week there’s been four cars that have been hit, and they’re major crashes in that those cars are now out of commission,” said Sgt. Enrique Carrillo a Spokesperson for the El Paso Police Department.
EPPD said all three of the drivers were arrested for DWI at the scene of the crashes.
The first in the past week happened on Saturday around 10:30 p.m. on I-10 West near the Sunland Park Exit, where two police units were hit, 45-year-old Maria Balderrama was arrested for DWI.
The next crash happened just a few hours later after 12 a.m. on Sunday morning. One police unit was hit at 11400 Gateway West near Lee Trevino. 25 –year-old Leslie Soto was arrested for DWI.
Then, on Thursday morning after 2:30 a.m., another police unit was hit on I-10 West and Geronimo. “Time of day they were all nighttime crashes overnight and usually when we get the highest number of DWI offenders, is after midnight and 4 am and in the rain and the weather,” said Carrillo.
Police say no officers or drivers were hurt in the crashes.
Sgt. Carrillo explained that on average 10 police units are hit every month, and while four in one week is unusual, people crashing into them isn’t.
Adding that while officers are responding to one crash it is common that they witness another crash happen.
“It’s a huge issue because it is not uncommon at all, in fact, I would say very common that it happens not only to patrol cars that are using to block lanes and stop traffic or divert traffic to another location but to other vehicles that are on the roadway that while officers are investigating one crash they happen to witness another crash,” said Sgt. Carrillo.
The night of Thursday, August 25, 2022, another DWI incident occurred, where a police unit was hit also.
EPPD, has not provided more details on this. We will update this story as soon as we learn more.