Defense: EMS shares blame in death
By Jessica Kwong, San Antonio Express News
Updated 01:04 a.m., Thursday, February 2, 2012
Even though Jenny Ann Ybarra was drunk and driving the wrong way, her defense attorney said Wednesday the “despicable behavior of EMS” was as much to blame for the death of a passenger in the car she collided with — pronouncing the victim dead, he said, while she was still gasping for air.
At least four paramedics arrived at the scene of the December 2007 collision shortly before 4 a.m. on the East Side.
One of them covered the body of Erica Nicole Smith, 23, with a yellow tarp, and it wasn’t until a San Antonio Police Department traffic investigations detective lifted it that he saw she appeared to be breathing.
During opening statements at a trial in which Ybarra pleaded not guilty to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, defense attorney Roy Barrera Jr. told jurors that such “gross negligence” by emergency responders makes them just as culpable in the death of Smith, who wasn’t taken to a hospital until three hours after the crash and died the next day.
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