Accidental Death: Fatal Crash In West Odessa Sparks Safety Conversation


CBS 7 News continues its coverage of a deadly crash that took the lives of two men from Monahans.

The three vehicle collision happened Monday morning off FM 866 in West Odessa.

We spoke with DPS Trooper Elena Viramontes Tuesday who says its accidents like these that have led her to conduct safety training with companies, especially in the oil and gas industry.

It’s important to note that we do not know if Monday’s crash was caused by distracted driving, however Viramontes says it serves as a reminder to motorists everywhere to always be alert behind the wheel.

“The situation that we had out there it was just, it was sad, could it have been prevented I don’t know,” Viramontes said.

Jesse Urias, 33, and 22-year-old Victor Vasquez lost their lives on FM 866 Monday morning when an 18-wheeler swerved into their lane, hitting them head on.

The men’s truck instantly caught on fire.

With oil field crashes occurring too often across West Texas, Viramontes conducts safety presentations in hopes to do her part in preventing these types of accidents.

“DPS is not holding this secret, it’s stuff that we should already know,” Viramontes said. “It’s stuff we were taught when we were going through our driving education, put your seat belt on, slow down, have distance, maintain [your] car, it’s the basics that’s what we are trying to teach.”

Viramontes has found herself working one too many crashes involving distracted drivers — a topic she says oil field companies hold high on their list of priorities.

“That split second that’s all it takes, a split second for you to get off the road, hit somebody else and cause some type of incident,” Viramontes said.

CBS 7 News also spent time trying to pull up the driver of the 18-wheeler’s CDL history, but were unable to access it. We’ve put in a formal request to DPS to try and get that information.

Story provided by CBS 7 News.

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