Albuquerque first responder killed in crash near Santa Ana Casino

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A car crash near the Santa Ana Pueblo killed three people around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

One of the victims of the alleged drunk driving crash was 26-year-old Christopher Legits, an Albuquerque paramedic who was said to be on his way home from fishing that day.

“He was doing what he loved to do and that was hanging out with friends and living life,” said Gabe Gallegos. 

The crash occurred just off U.S. 550, about a few miles away from Santa Ana Casino. Multiple police departments responded to the scene, including Rio Rancho, Santa Ana, and Sandoval County.

Following the crash and news of Legits’ death, an outpouring of support was seen all over social media.

“I think what people will remember from him is just the way he helped people in the way he cared for people,” said Gabe Gallegos, a close friend. “He was a paramedic for several years and I can’t imagine how many lives he saved, and how many people are still with us because he was here with us. Chris had this huge heart, amazing smile that just made everyone feel so warm and so loved, whenever you talk to him.”

As a beloved member of the medical community, a radio call honoring Legits’s life was broadcast to all Bernalillo County paramedics over dispatch.

“That’s what Chris would want us to do. Chris, you will forever be missed but never forgotten. It is with great honor today that we carry you to your resting place. Please join us as we take a moment of silence.”

“Just hearing him talk about the world, hearing him talk about the way he loved people, the way he wanted to see our community be better, those are the memories I’ll always have,” said Gallegos. 

There was also a procession for Legits held on the interstate while he was transported to a funeral home in Santa Fe. 

Statement on behalf of Jim Williams, Deputy Chief, Albuquerque Ambulance Service:

“Albuquerque Ambulance Service (AAS) is saddened by the loss of Chris Rivera-Legits. Chris worked at AAS for almost four years and was an excellent paramedic who treated patients with the utmost respect and empathy. We will remember him as a wonderful person with a giant smile and a warm heart. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Details of the crash remain limited.