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Injured man in Tuesday rollover is Somerton resident
The Somerton man transported to the hospital Tuesday after a rollover collision has been identified as 18-year-old Arturo Alvarez. He was treated for injuries including minor cuts to his hands and a cut to the top of his head.
According to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. on Highway 95 near County 12th Street and involved a white 1994 Chevrolet Blazer driven by Alvarez and a tan 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 80-year-old Horst Schwanz of Montana.
Both vehicles had been traveling southbound when Alvarez became aware of an ambulance running an emergency call approaching from the opposite direction. The white Blazer was traveling in the inside right lane slightly in front of the tan Cherokee, which was traveling in the far right lane.
The ambulance, operated by the San Luis Fire Department, was traveling northbound on Highway 95 with the emergency siren and red and blue lights activated. The ambulance was transporting a patient in critical condition to Yuma Regional Medical Center.
As the ambulance approached, Alvarez allegedly pulled over into the far right lane in front of Schwanz’s vehicle to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. According to YCSO, Schwanz said he did not see the oncoming ambulance or Alvarez entering his lane. Schwanz’s vehicle then allegedly rear-ended Alvarez’s, causing the white Blazer to roll over twice. It came to rest on its side in the dirt shoulder off of Highway 95.
The SLFD ambulance crew, following protocol, could not stop to render aid because they were rushing a patient facing life-threatening issues to the hospital, explained Luis Cebreros, SLFD public information officer.
"When we already have a patient, we are committed to that call. We couldn’t stop and render help. We had to keep on going."
However, the crew did report the rollover to their dispatcher, and sheriff’s deputies and a Rural/Metro ambulance responded to the scene.
Alvarez was transported to YRMC. Schwanz, who had suffered a gash to his lower chin that needed stitches, refused to go to the hospital.
Schwanz was ticketed by deputies for allegedly failing to control his vehicle and for not wearing a seat belt.