Just before 10 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2019, a couple traveling from Michigan to Arizona were injured in a fire and subsequent explosion near the Las Cruces Pilot Travel Center.
The couple was taken to a hospital before being transported by air to the closest regional burn center in Lubbock, Texas.
Body camera footage shows two police officers arriving at the scene of a reported fire in the bed of a pickup truck. As one officer approaches the couple – who are standing near their truck – a large explosion knocks the couple to the ground, catching the woman’s clothing on fire.
The couple’s pickup was towing a trailer with three horses and three dogs inside. The animals were not injured. An Animal Control officer took custody of the three dogs while an inspector with the New Mexico Livestock Board found temporary shelter for the three horses. The fire that caused the propane explosion originated from a portable generator.
Regarding the guy being blurred beginning at a seemingly random point in the video: New Mexico’s access to public records statute is called the Inspection of Public Records Act –
“IPRA” for short. When a ‘public record’ is properly requested under the act and all fees are
paid, the only legitimate justification for withholding all or part of that record Is a specific statutory exemption. One of the exemptions under IPRA pertaining to medical care is found at NMSA § 14-2-1(A)(1), and it reads “(1)records pertaining to physical or mental examinations and medical treatment of persons confined to an institution.” Despite the fact that IPRA itself instructs that all of its exemptions are to be narrowly interpreted in favor of disclosure, the City of Las Cruces had take an an expansive reading of “records pertaining to physical examinations and medical treatment of persons confined to an institution” to include (a) most depictions of injury, and (b) literally any interactions between EMS and patients that is captured on video.
Finally, a note about something seen in this video: Around the five minute mark the woman is heard repeatedly stating that she can’t breathe. It’s easy to think nothing of that, as she is clearly breathing, but her experience (and far worse) is common in severe burn victims. Hot gases from the fire and explosion are inhaled, severely burning the airway and lungs. This alone can kill.
More-final-finally: This footage was captured on Axon Body 3 body-worn cameras. You won’t notice much if any difference, though, as their main selling point is the ability to livestream.
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