|Birth: ||May 13, 1985|
|Death: ||Apr. 1, 2010|
Hillcrest (San Diego County)
San Diego County
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE
APRIL 1, 2010
~EMT RESPONDING TO SR-163 ACCIDENT STRUCK, KILLED~
SAN DIEGO--A car traveling at freeway speed struck and killed a 24-year-old emergency medical technician Thursday as he was laying out flares around vehicles that had crashed amid rain and rush-hour traffic on the Cabrillo Freeway in Hillcrest.
Esteban Bahena of Lemon Grove, an employee of San Diego Medical Services, died at Scripps Mercy Hospital about 8:30 a.m., roughly 90 minutes after the accident, authorities reported.
Bahena and a colleague were northbound in an ambulance on the freeway during a cloudburst about 7 a.m. when they came across the aftermath of two separate crashes that had just occurred near Washington Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.
After he and his partner checked on the occupants of the vehicles that had been involved in the accidents, Bahena began placing flares on the wet roadway to warn oncoming motorists, CHP public affairs Officer Art Athans said.
Within moments a silver 2001 Chrysler Sebring struck Bahena, then hit two of the disabled vehicles.
A short time later, a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department vehicle happened upon the scene, and its crew performed CPR on medical technician. Medics then took him to the nearby trauma center, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.
The 55-year-old San Diego woman whose car hit Bahena was taken to USCD Medical Center for treatment of undisclosed injuries, Athans said. At her request blood samples were taken to test for any possible intoxicants in her body, and the screening determined that she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to Luque.
The CHP closed the northbound lanes of the freeway between Interstate 5 and Washington Street until about 3:30 p.m. to allow investigators to gather evidence and document the scene of the deadly accident.
The fatality was the first on-duty death in the 13-year history of San Diego Medical Services, a public-private partnership between the city and a national emergency-services company. Bahena had worked for the agency since August 2008.
Philip Forgione, chief excutive officer of SDMS, described the organization personnel as "Stunned and devastated."
"Our paramedics and EMTs serve the San Diego community every day, and Esteban was one of our very well-liked and exemplary employees," Forgione said.
Bahena"s death was the eights on-duty fatality in the history of the city's fire department, according to Luque. The most recent one before Thursday's occurred in 1976, he said.
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE
APRIL 1, 2010
SAN DIEGO-Hours before he was fatally struck by a car while setting up flares around a highway traffic accident, emergency medical technician Esteban Bahena made this post to his Facebook account:
"Just transported a patient coming off a jet plane. Love my job."
Behena, 24, died about 8:30 a.m. Thursday after getting hit on state Route 163 south of Washington Street.
His midnight post on Facebook Wednesday was his last, said Reema Makani, spokeswoman for San Diego Medical Services, where Bahena had worked as an EMT since August 2008.
Makani said the company's employees are like a tightknit family and "we're all reeling around here."
Bahena was single and lived with two sisters in San Diego.
"He was just so nice, kind, and respectful," Makani said.
The company message board, she said, "is exploding with people just so saddened by his loss."
Bahena was a passenger in the ambulance with fellow EMT Paul Santo, 20, of Chula Vista. They were heading back to company headquarters in Kearny Mesa about 7 a.m. on state Route 163 in Hillcrest. They saw a one-car accident on the shoulder and pulled over, said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
A woman in a 1999 Mustang had stuck a concrete wall on the right shoulder, Luque said.
After pulling over, they noticed another accident in front of the Mustang involving a Dodge Ram pickup truck and Toyota Scion. It was raining at the time, and a California Highway Patrol officer said that may have contributed to both accidents.
Santos got out of the ambulance and went to check on the drivers of the two-vehicle accident. Neither requested to be transported.
Bahena checked on the woman driver in the Mustang and then began to put out flares to warn approaching traffic of the accidents. He was struck by a silver Dodge Sebring driven by a 55-year-old San Diego woman.
The Sebring then hit the rear of the Mustang, driven by a 25-year-old woman from Escondido. Both vehicles traveled across the freeway lanes and came to rest against the Dodge Pickup, which was in the center divide.
A fire department crew fresh from a nearby call arrived moments later and began to render aid. Bahena was taken in his own ambulance to a hospital where he died, Luque said.
The woman driving the car that hit him was injured and is expected to recover. Drugs and alcohol were not a factor, Luque said.
Luque said that the California Highway Patrol is still investigating the accidents.
Makani at San Diego Medical Services said it was the first fatality since the company formed a join public/ private partnership with the city of San Diego 13 years ago to provide emergency services.
Employees of the company, the largest ambulance provider in the county, are "used to dealing with death on a pretty regular basis," Makani said. "But when it's so close to home, it's so hard."
~~~~ REMEMBERING A HERO ~~~~
Memorial Service to Honor
Fallen EMT Esteban Bahena
Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11am
at The Rock Church
2277 Rosecrans St. SD CA 92106
~~~~~~~~ MATTHEW 25:40 ~~~~~~~~
And the King will answer them,
'Truly, I say to you, as you did
it to one of the least of these
my brothers, you did it to me.'
Created by: Athena
Record added: Apr 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50529626