The driver of a pickup truck suspected of causing a multi-vehicle crash that left two people dead and several others injured in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday night has been charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide, the state medical examiner said Friday.
The man, 38-year-old Marco Antonio Serrano-Vitorino, was found unresponsive in the pickup truck by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team shortly after the accident. The Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for more information about Serrano-Vitorino.
The crash on Parkside Drive in El Paso on Thursday occurred just south of San Antonio Road, according to El Paso police. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene.
A medical helicopter transported several injured people to University Medical Center, a fire department spokesman said.
Killed in the crash were 59-year-old Vincent Perez and 29-year-old Dionna Luna, El Paso Police Chief Steven J. Sampedro said in a Friday news conference. In addition to the two homicide victims, five people were reported injured: 4 who were taken to UMC with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, and 2 who went to an El Paso hospital, where their conditions were not immediately known.
The head of the San Antonio Fire Department, Greg Casar, said “for the ages we have on those survivors, it’s an awesome result” and praised “our first responders for their quick actions.”
The crash occurred near a fireworks stand, and authorities believe the pickup was headed south on Parkside Drive when it struck a car traveling north on the highway, Sampedro said. Police are investigating whether the driver of the car was intoxicated, he said.
“Parkside is a major roadway in our city,” Sampedro said. “We’re thankful that we’ve had no other incidents since last night, and that our medical resources were able to get out quickly and start doing care for these individuals.”
The deputy in charge of the fire department’s emergency response team, James Hayes, said the hospital contacted the medical helicopter because the patient in distress was not responsive, and the paramedics took him from the fire department to the hospital in an El Paso Fire Department helicopter.
“This is a pretty huge undertaking to get him there,” Hayes said. “Everybody’s going to be impacted by this loss.”
A portion of Parkside Drive between the San Antonio Road and Farm-to-Market 9 was closed while authorities investigated the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation, police said.
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