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Diesel Truck Accident in Midland TX

I’ve been detailing the many truck & auto accidents in my area here at Odessa Law Practice, and this accident happened a couple of  hours ago.  A Tanker truck that was filled with diesel fuel rolled over  at Craddick Highway & Holiday Hill Road.  They left a huge plume of black smoke over Midland, TX.   The tanker truck was filled with diesel fuel.  Emergency responders closed  off Holiday Hill Road until they had everything under control. There were multiple law enforcement and emergency fire teams on the scene. The rollover happened about 4:45 this afternoon.  We don’t know if the driver or anyone else was injured in the crash.

*Yesterday, on 07/28/2012, a 20-year-old Midland man died near Highway 191 and Loop 250. The victim was Mark Anthony Varela. Police stated that Varela was heading northbound, in the concrete landscape area South of 191 under the overpass for Loop 250.

Police stated that Varela was not on the roadway and he proceeded northbound and went off the edge of the underpass. They stated that he ended up upside down in the eastbound lanes of travel.

Police said a 2008 F-150 truck driven by 37-year-old Sammy Rocha and occupied by Sammy Rocha Jr., 18-years-old, struck Varela’s vehicle.

Varela died at the scene. Both occupants of the F-150 were transported to Midland Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.


These types of accidents happen all too often in the Odessa and Midland, TX area. Maybe a mandated ‘Driver Education Program’ would be able to curb the many car crashes that happen here.I know where I used to live in the North Country, the students in High School were taught Driver’s Education. The driving conditions were quite hazardous because seven months of the year we had ice and snow on the road. Yet, we didn’t have fatalities like they have in this area.In fact, a fatality was rare.

Last year in Odessa, TX, in 2011, we had over 100 car crashes. I think we’ve had almost that many this year already and it’s only July. I tried to research the data – but, I think the Media has been told to downplay the traffic accidents. I wasn’t able to find out any solid data for this year.Hopefully, MOTRAN will be able to help raise awareness. Please call Odessa Law Practice at 432-301-9252, if you have any issues with car accidents.

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Traffic Crashes in Permian Basin

Traffic Crashes in the Permian Basin

James Beauchamp, president of the Midland Odessa Transportation Alliance, said that people in tfhe Permian Basin were more than twice  as likely to be in a fatal traffic crash than in the state as a whole based on the number of miles traveled, which is based on a report by MOTRAN.

Crashes on Texas roadways resulted in 3,023 fatalities in 2010,  making an average of 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in the state. However, the Odessa District reported 93 fatalities, making an average of 3.2 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, according to MOTRAN, increasing to 100 fatalities in 2011.


The report noted the cost of 2011 crashes to individuals and human capital was more than $313 million, and the cost to the community was more than $762 million, but Beauchamp also said human losses cannot be measured just in a dollar amount.


At the end of the day, when somebody’s lost their dad or their child, there’s no dollar amount to that,” Beauchamp said. “We’re not going to be able to bring back or undo anything that’s happened.”


The inspiration for MOTRAN’s report was a task force created by the Texas Department of Transportation geared at focusing on energy-related transportation needs, which Beauchamp said he believed would be good news.


According to MOTRAN’s report, the result was that 7,374 accidents of all kinds were also reported in the Odessa District in 2011, up from 6,021 in 2010. But Powell said even money put into the Permian Basin would not guarantee fewer accidents and fatalities.


The wrecks that we’re seeing as a whole are not caused by road factors, for the most part,” TXDOT Odessa District spokesman Gene Powell said. “That’s not to say that we won’t add safety measures (after a wreck), but when you see people crossing the center line or going off the road and being ejected … safety measures won’t prevent people from making bad decisions.”   As residents of Texas, we enjoy a highway system that is the envy of other states. We must keep our part of the bargain to drive safely and be considerate of those we share the road with.


The alliance has started the Drive Smart program, encouraging people to realize the risks when they get on the road as well as follow traffic laws such as stopping at red lights and stop signs, to not text and drive, and to yield the right of way.


Ultimately, Beauchamp said he hopes to increase awareness of traffic issues through the report and public initiatives, both to the community and officials who allocate money.

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