ER doctor dies in crash

Caller reporting erratic driving witnessed wreck

Kimberly Rubio

Assistant editor

Soon after finishing a shift Thursday morning in Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, Dr. Robert Fanning, 74, of San Antonio, died when his SUV veered into oncoming traffic just east of Sabinal on Highway 90.

Fanning was pronounced dead at the scene after his 2013 Ford Escape crashed into a 2016 Toyota Rav4 right before the highway separates into a divided four lane roadway at the Medina County line.

The two-vehicle collision was reported to 911 by a motorist who was already on the line reporting erratic driving.

Herby Maldonado, a Del Rio resident en route to San Antonio, reported seeing the Ford Escape veer off the roadway in Sabinal just minutes before impact.

“I saw the whole thing [happen] right before my eyes,” Moreno said. “The doctor had passed me up, and I noticed him swerving in and out of the lanes until he swerved out of the shoulder onto the dirt and back onto the highway.”

Moreno said he then dialed 911 and attempted to give dispatchers his location.

“I was on the phone with dispatch trying to figure out my exact location,” Moreno said. “As a matter of fact, I did not know what town I had just left, I just wasn’t sure. I was just trying to give dispatch hints, like I remember passing Ranchero Creek, which was the last landmark I remember giving before [Fanning] went into the oncoming lane.

“The crash was very dramatic of course, seeing those cars… being thrown around like a toy,” Moreno said, adding that he and several other motorists stopped to render aid.

“I remember going to Mr. Nicholas’ car… he was moaning, ‘help me, help me,’” Moreno said. “I told him it was going to be OK and that help is on the way.”

Moreno said many assisted in attempting to remove Saucedo from the vehicle, but he was pinned inside.

“I remember going to the blue Ford Escape and just seeing the driver slouched over lifeless,” Moreno said.

Crash

The preliminary investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed Fanning was traveling east on the roadway as Nicolas Saucedo, 56, of San Antonio, was headed west.

“For reasons not yet known, Mr. Fanning veered into the westbound lane and struck head-on a 2016 Toyota Rav4, driven by Nicolas Saucedo,” said Sgt. Orlando Moreno, public information officer for DPS.

Fanning was pronounced dead at the scene. Saucedo was treated by Uvalde EMS at the scene before he was taken by Uvalde MedAir-1 to University Hospital in San Antonio where he was listed in critical condition.

The investigation is ongoing and all contributing factors are not yet known, however Moreno encouraged motorists to minimize distractions and never drive fatigued.


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