Firefighter, medic among injured in crash on Ashley Phosphate
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A firefighter, a medic and four bystanders were hit by a car driving through the scene of another car crash on Ashley Phosphate Road early Saturday morning.
North Charleston police identified the driver as Felix Garcia-Romera. He was charged with three counts of felony driving under the influence, officials said.
North Charleston Fire Department spokeswoman Bianca Sancic said seven people had to be taken to area hospitals after the crash.
ABCNews4 spoke with one of the paramedics hit by the driver.
"I can't remember what I heard but it made me turn my head. I turned my head and I saw a vehicle coming at us, coming the wrong way," said Charleston County paramedic Daniel Cobiella.
The car was going about 40 miles per hour, Cobiella said. Before he knew what had happened, he was down.
"I either got hit and spun around or I got clipped and fell to the ground," Cobiella said.
He didn't remember much, except for what happened next.
"I remember getting off the ground, hearing people screaming. I radioed in," he said.
On the 911 call, you can hear someone screaming for "more units." and "more EMS."
"We have another wreck! One firefighter down, two females down," one caller said.
"You get off the ground and start assessing the situation, trying to figure out what happened and all you hear is screams," Cobiella said.
Cobiella said he started helping anyone he could before he got pulled off work and taken to the hospital. He said his heart went out to the firefighter, Darin Kingery, who was still in the intensive care unit Monday.
"I hope his leg heals up and he can get back on his engine. I'm sure that's all he wants," he said.
Cobiella will return to work Thursday, he said.
"I enjoy my job. I enjoy helping people. I'm not going to let something like this affect me to where I can't do my job," he said.
Garcia-Romero is in jail on $300,000 bond. Authorities said he did not have a U.S. driver's license.
North Charleston firefighters were called to a two-car crash at 3940 Ashley Phosphate Road shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday. While helping a Charleston County EMS crew treat the people involved in the crash, another car drove through the scene hitting one firefighter, one medic and four other people, officials said.
That crash happened at 2 a.m., according to fire officials.
Sancic said the medic was treated overnight and released. One firefighter had to be taken to Medical University Hospital for surgery. Sancic said Saturday afternoon that the firefighter was out of surgery and recovering in the intensive care unit.
One other firefighter was checked out and released from MUSC, she said.
Sancic added that the driver of the car that caused the second accident was arrested by North Charleston police and charged with DUI.
Sancic did not release the names of the injured firefighter or medic.