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Police: Drunk driver hit Virginia ambulance, killing child inside

Posted at 12:51 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 12:59:51-05

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Virginia child injured in a crash involving an ambulance in Winston-Salem has died, Winston-Salem Police told WGHP.

Jose Duran Romero, 27, crashed a Honda Accord into the side of a Mercedes Lifecare Ambulance on southbound U.S. 52 near Liberty Street early Sunday morning, according to police.  The ambulance rolled over on its side and the Honda ran off the road.

Romero’s blood-alcohol content was at more than twice the legal limit, police said. He also did not have a driver’s license.

Federal authorities believe Romero was in the country illegally.

EMS rushed the child, his mother and two paramedics inside the ambulance to the hospital.

The child, from Wise County, Virginia, died Monday.

Police said the ambulance left from Wise, Virginia, more than a three-hour drive from Winston-Salem.

Police would not say where exactly the child was headed.

Romero was jailed on a $50,000 secured bond.

He’s charged with DWI, failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash and driving without a license.

Federal authorities also put Romero under an immigration detainer.

The detainer will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to take Romero into custody once he is released from local custody.

Romero’s passenger, Andres Leon, 33, is charged with failing to render aid and give information. He was given a $1,000 bond and Forsyth County Jail officials say he was not in the jail as of Sunday night.

Court documents give more details about what happened after the crash. A witness described what Romero looked like to police after the crash. He had “bloodshot, glassy eyes,” “slurred speech” and looked “grossly impaired.”

Romero blew a 0.19 on a breathalyzer nearly two hours after the crash; that’s more than twice the legal limit.

Court documents also show Romero has never had a driver’s license.