ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police video released Friday shows the rescue of a frantic toddler after a car crash. Witnesses said the driver, Erica Garcia, was all over the road, before she sped up, flew more than 15 feet into the air and came crashing down.
Officers arrived at the scene to find a demolished car, a trapped, screaming toddler and a confused driver. It happened near Mountain and I-25 Saturday morning. Amid the total chaos, an accused drunk driver thought she had just killed a child.
Driver: “She’s gone.”
Officer: “She’s alright, she’s alright, you’re good.”
The Albuquerque Police Department never confirmed that the 2-year-old girl in the car was Garcia’s daughter, but officers and witnesses on scene called Erica her mom.
Officer: “Your daughter’s fine, you’re fine.”
APD says the child was not buckled in a car seat. Officers, firefighters and witnesses we’re frantic to free her from the car.
“We’re getting you out, we’re gonna get you out, okay,” a witness said.
Witnesses told officers before the crash Garcia was all over the road.
“She was kinda driving really weird,” a witness said.
Witnesses said next Garcia hit a curb, drove up a utility support wire and flew more than 15 feet into the air. The car landed on its roof. Witnesses looked inside and say they saw alcohol in the back seat. It wasn’t even 10 a.m.
Witness: “I pulled a Four Loco can.”
The Jaws of Life removed the child. She had life-threatening injuries. Later at the hospital, APD says Garcia told doctors she had drank 30 beers that morning. Garcia’s father told police he saw her two hours before the crash and she wasn’t drinking.
“No, no, I saw her this morning, she was fine,” Garcia’s father said.
The officer wasn’t buying it.
“No, she’s definitely intoxicated,” the officer said.
Both the child and Garcia are still in the hospital. Garcia is expected to face with DWI and child abuse charges when she’s discharged.
Back in 2013 Garcia pleaded guilty to leaving her 7-month-old baby in a hot car, after using heroin. He almost died. She served seven months in jail in that case. She also has previous stolen car, drug possession and drunk driving convictions.