Candlelight vigil held for EMT, patient killed in car accident

KGBT Photo

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night outside the Peñitas Fire Department to honor an Hidalgo county EMT and a patient who were killed in a head-on collision on Sunday.

A pastor took to the podium as law enforcement agents from across the Valley and community members prayed over the lives of 32-year-old Felipe Huerta, JR and 68-year-old Delia Cortines, who was the patient being transported inside the ambulance at the time of the collision.

Dozens light candles and held hands as they also prayed for a third victim, EMS medic, Andrea Rodriguez, who officials say suffered severe injuries and remains in critical condition.

Huertas’ EMS team and family members stood next to his portrait in which he was wearing his marine uniform. His family says Huerta was honored with a Purple Heart for his service.

Huerta grew up across the street from the Peñitas Fire Department, according to family members.

Rigo Lopez, Peñitas city mayor, says alcohol could have played a factor in the fatal accident.

“EMS are the ones that are responding and taking care of the victims,” he said. “In this case, it’s just a tragic event all around.”

Lopez asked vigil attendees to also pray for the driver allegedly responsible for the crash saying “everyone loses in these types of accidents.”

The driver is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.

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