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Police: Boy in the ambulance hit the driver now fighting for life

An ambulance carrying a young boy to a hospital for treatment, was struck early Sunday by a drunk driver in North Carolina, tilting the medical transport and left the boy fighting for his life, authorities said.

The younger was on the way to a trauma center with his mother around 1 p.m. when the Virginia-based ambulance was struck on a North Carolina highway, said Winston-Salem Police Lt. Rick Newnum. He described him as a toddler, or a toddler.

The boy was in a stable condition prior to the crash north of the city of Winston-Salem but came out of the wreck with life-threatening injuries, Newnum said.

“There is this mother transporting her little child to a trauma center, and she is in the ambulance with her small child as they flipped by a drunk driver,” Newnum said in a telephone interview. “And now this child is fighting for his life.”

Newnum said the boy was under the care of emergency medical personnel in the ambulance at the time, but he had no further information about why the boy was transferred to the hospital for the crash.

The police refused to identify the child. A police statement said the mother and two other adults on board the ambulance were treated for minor injuries.

Jose Martin Duran Romero, 27, of Winston-Salem was charged with driving under the influence, failure to reduce speed and driving without a driver’s license, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer. The prison records show that he was held on a Sunday afternoon, and no home phone listing for him could be found. Romero’s passenger was charged with failure to render aid.

The ambulance and Romero’s car were both heading south on U.S. 52 when investigators say the car hit the left side of the medical transport, causing both drivers to lose control. The ambulance then rolled over on his side. The crash closed a section of the highway for three hours during the night.

No phone listing could be found for the 27-year-old woman on board the ambulance, whose address is listed in Wise, Virginia.

The ambulance was operated by LifeCare Ambulance in Wise. A manager with LifeCare did not immediately return a message seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the Winston-Salem hospital where the boy was taken, she said, she had no further details.

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Drew reported from Durham, North Carolina.

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