A paramedic was killed after a man hijacked her ambulance in New York City and reversed over her, city officials said on Friday. Police have arrested a suspect on murder charges.

Yadira Arroyo, 44, and her female partner were traveling in their ambulance in the Bronx when a passing motorist alerted them to a man riding at the back of their vehicle, city officials said.

They stopped and got out of the ambulance to investigate.

The man then climbed into the driver's seat and put the ambulance in reverse, striking both paramedics and knocking Arroyo to the ground before driving backwards over her, according to the New York police and fire officials.

The man kept driving backwards, striking at least three other vehicles, before driving forward again, dragging the fallen paramedic into the middle of the road and striking two more vehicles before getting stuck in a snowbank.

He then abandoned the ambulance and tried to flee before being arrested by a nearby police officer on patrol.

Jose Gonzalez, 25, was arrested on charges of murder, grand larceny and driving while impaired by drugs, police said. He was in jail awaiting an initial court appearance on Friday and it was not clear whether he had a lawyer.

Arroyo's partner, another paramedic for the Fire Department of New York, was taken to hospital with injuries to her neck and shoulder.

Arroyo had worked for the FDNY for 14 years and had five children, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference at the hospital.