Local hero honored with hot air balloon ride
October 12, 2018 06:52 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It was July 15th, a day one Albuquerque woman won't soon forget.
“We were heading back to Santa Fe after a concert. It was my two sisters, brother-in-law and a friend,” Jasmine Velazquez said.
The group rolled up on a horrific crash just outside of Bernalillo.
“And next thing you know, we just couldn't see the road anymore. It was just nothing but pitch black,” Velazquez said.
A car had rear-ended a pickup. A commercial bus then swerved to avoid the crash, but lost control and rolled on its side.
“All of a sudden, as we got closer, we saw it was the bottom of a bus. And my brother-in-law tried to not hit, and kinda missed it, but it was completely covering the road, and we just couldn't not hit it.
Velazquez and her family and friend weren't hurt, but moments later, she says a large SUV slammed into the bus, moving it entirely.
“We parked the car on the other side of the street so nobody would hit it, and then my sister got out of the car and she started saying there's people in that bus,” Velazquez said.
In a beautiful moment of bravery and courage, Velazquez sprung into action, charging the bus full of suffering victims.
“There was a couple people that couldn't walk, so I had to kinda try my best to pick them up and drag them out,” Velazquez said.
She said adrenaline and instinct kicked in, and those who she couldn't physically lift, she did her best to translate.
“She stayed there and she helped us. She impacted a lot of lives that day including the firefighters. So that's why we nominated her to be the citizen hero and get her a flight today,” Steve Vaughn, Director of the Firefighter’s Random Acts Charity said.
A ride at this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, with spectacular views of the Rio Grande Valley, fit only for a hero.
“I think it’s amazing. I never expected something like this,” Velazquez said.
Created: October 12, 2018 06:52 AM
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