SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Fellow first responders took time Friday morning to pay tribute to a Medina County paramedic who died suddenly last week.
Asante Contreras, 20, was killed in a wrong-way crash in San Antonio on Sunday night.
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According to police, the driver who crashed into the vehicle Contreras was in near Loop 410 and Interstate 35, was running from officers at the time, and now faces a charge of murder.
“It’s very tragic and it wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t in his err,” said Diahann Fuentes, who showed up at Medina County Emergency Services District #1 to pay her respects.
Fuentes’ husband, a volunteer firefighter, works at that fire station in Castroville.
Contreras, a paramedic fresh out of training, was assigned there, too.
On Friday morning, his fellow first responders and community members stood at attention on both sides of the street in front of the fire station as a procession including fire trucks and police cars slowly drove by.
They provided an escort for the hearse carrying Contreras’ body as it made its way through town, headed for Del Rio.
“He was just a kid. He was a 20-year-old young man that had great things in store for him in his life,” Fuentes said.
She said she only knew Contreras from afar, but still takes the loss personally.
Others who knew him well leaned on one another, sobbing.
“I see how my husband feels and my daughter that’s in middle school, she came (to the station) often and she knew him,” Fuentes said.
According to his supervisors, Contreras was an employee of Allegiance Mobile Health, a company contracted to provide paramedic service to Medina County.
They said he had been on duty at ESD #1 only a few months after recently passing his paramedic exams.
In fact, they said Contreras was scheduled to graduate from the program Friday.
Instead, his co-workers spent the morning saying their final goodbyes.