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Even Estela Montes isn’t quite sure if she was acting on instinct or adrenaline; either way, a pregnant woman involved in a recent car crash is no doubt thankful that Montes sprang into action.
A Public Service Company of New Mexico field employee, Montes was working near a property at San Mateo and Gibson SE on July 12 when she saw a fast-moving vehicle suddenly swerve onto a sidewalk and crash into a tree.
Montes immediately turned on the roof-mounted emergency lights of her PNM truck and positioned the truck to redirect traffic safely away.
Hearing screams of pain, Montes ran to the crashed vehicle and attended to a pregnant passenger while two other good samaritans helped others injured in the car.
She described the scene as chaotic, with dust settling on everything and bloodied victims sitting among deployed airbags.
“I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed and just knew I needed to help,” Montes said. The woman “was bleeding a lot, screaming, and begged me to relieve the pressure around her stomach from the seatbelt.”
Montes immediately called 911 and then got a nearby resident to bring something to cut the seatbelt away from the injured woman’s midsection. Montes then applied pressure to the woman’s bleeding wounds, and sat with her and reassured her until first responders arrived.
Although Montes said she does not know the condition or identities of the injured people, she did say she was thankful to be in the right place at the right time and be able to help.
Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman and CEO of PNM, took notice of Montes’ quick and clear-thinking response: “I am extremely proud of Estela,” she said. “She demonstrated our company’s values of taking care of the very people we serve in a time when she was needed the most.”