The chopper and two fire trucks were parked in the highway in Gallup early Sunday morning to rescue the victim of a one-vehicle accident, local ABC station KOAT reported.
Glenn Livingston, 26, allegedly drove through the barricade set up at the scene and hit both the chopper and a fire truck, per CBS station KRQE.
The chopper was not running and its rotors were not spinning at the time of the collision, the McKinely County Sheriff’s Office said.
The victim of the initial accident was taken to an area hospital and is expected to recover, KOAT reported. No one else was injured in the crashes.
“Our medical team did an outstanding job,” Julia Azua, regional director of Air Medical Rescue Group, told KOB, the local NBC station. “The patient was extremely critical, they maintained composure, they were professional and they stabilized this patient despite the incident that occurred on the scene.”
“You’ve got to be pretty drunk,” tow truck driver Frank Hernandez, who was at the scene, told KOB. “I’ve seen them where they’ve taken vehicles off the road and they don’t know they did that, or not.”
Hernandez said about 95 percent of the cars in his lot were destroyed by suspected drunken drivers.
The Associated Press reported that Livingston was booked on a variety of charges, including aggravated DWI and resisting arrest.