EMT Injured in I-40 Head-On Recovering, Keeping ‘Good Attitude’

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When life throws a curve, you find a course to get on track.

“No time [for a] bad attitude,” says MEMS EMT Paul Sanchez.

Sanchez is taking one step at a time at the Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute.

He suffered a broken left leg and a broken right heel.

More than a week ago, he was driving on I-40 back to Little Rock with his partner when a seemingly normal out-of-town transport went horribly wrong.

“We were going up hill, and when we topped the hill, we saw the headlights,” says Sanchez.

Sanchez says as soon as he saw the headlights, it was too late.

“At the last minute I tried to turn to the right but we had already made impact,” says Sanchez.

The ambulance hit a car going the wrong-way on I-40.

The ambulance he was driving, and wasn’t carrying a transport at the time, flipped and bounced in the air, trapping his legs.

His partner, who wasn’t seriously injured, checked on a 21-year-old woman in the other car.

The woman in the other car died on impact.

“I got a hold of my handheld [radio] and was able to call in we had been involved in a collision,” says Sanchez.

Sanchez says he remained calm, even joking with bystanders who stopped to help and other first responders.

“He asked me how I was doing and a couple people had pulled off at that point and gathering around the vehicle and the first thing I asked them is how’s my hair,” says Sanchez.

When life appears to set you back, Sanchez says there’s one way to get through it all.

“I’ve kept a good attitude and I plan on keeping a good attitude through it,” says Sanchez.

It could take up to seven months before Sanchez can return to work.

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