First Responder Injured while Responding to Call in Manteca

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MANTECA -- Katrina Garcia says despite cautious efforts while emergency responders are on a call, they can't always anticipate drivers’ dangerous actions.

“We do our jobs well, we’re safe as we can be, but we are in the most uncontrolled conditions,” Garcia said over the phone.

Garcia says she is now recovering at her home with sutures and staples in her head and face, and injured ribs and knees.

She wants drivers to heed the law -- move over or slow down whenever you see a first responder.

“We’re just looking for common courtesy so that we can go home to our babies and to our families, to our loved ones,” she said.

Garcia says she was helping a gunshot victim pulled over on Highway 120 and Main Street in Manteca Friday night.

A fire truck protected her car. Emergency lights were on and everything seemed safe.

“We can do all the right things, and somebody is not minding our lights you can see for miles,” Garcia said.

One driver’s misstep sent the single mother of two to the hospital.

“I just feel my body is being thrown multiple ways and then I land on the grass,” Garcia told FOX40.

This is the second time she's been injured while on the job. Around three years ago Garcia says her ambulance was hit head-on by a drunk driver while she was putting a patient inside.

At the time, it took her six months to recover.

“I am the most unlucky but luckiest person in the world,” she said.

Now, the community has rallied to help her, raising money for who they call “the toughest girl we know and love.”

Garcia says if more drivers see first responders as their loved ones and took care after this, it was all worth it.

“Then it is 100-percent worth every pain, every staple, every suture, every injury if somebody doesn’t have to go through this again,” Garcia said.

It’s also the law to move over or slow down whenever you see a first responder or a tow truck pulled over to the side of the road.

If you’re caught not doing so, the CHP says you may get a ticket.


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