Midland, Texas Accident Death Toll Very High: One Automobile Wreck Fatality Every 6 Days
According to local media reports, Midland County, Texas is experiencing a traffic fatality every six (6) days. Given the size of Midland County, Texas, this number is extremely high. There are many reasons for such a high number, including, most notably, the new shale oil boom in the Permian Basin area, which has led to a huge influx of workers, vehicles, and oil and gas drilling and support equipment. Just as the communities in the Eagle Ford shale have seen a huge increase in traffic fatalities, the same problems are now plaguing the Midland-Odessa area.
Already this year, Midland has seen eight traffic fatalities. Following is a complete list of the accidents that led to these terrible tragedies.
On Jan. 8, a 50-year-old San Antonio man, Lance Howard Schneider, was pronounced dead at the scene after his pickup truck collided with a -tractor trailer on Craddick Highway, about a half mile west of State Highway 349. A passenger in the pickup, 22-year-old Dannie Schlag of Atascosa, was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.
On Jan. 11, a motorcycle was traveling southbound on Midland Drive, when a northbound pickup truck turned left in front of him, forcing motorcyclist Jesse Kinsey to crash into the passenger side of the pickup. Kinsey was pronounced dead at the scene. According to police and some witnesses, Kinsey was probably driving over the speed limit.
Then, on Jan. 15, three people died in a crash between two pickups on Farm-to-Market Road 1788, about 6 miles south of Interstate 20. The victims in the crash were Manuel Jesus Loera, 47, and Francisco Manuel Ortega, 26 of Odessa and Joshua Edward Stearns, 27 of New Caney. A fourth person, Jesus Carballo, 27, of Ehrenberg, Arizona, survived the crash, but suffered serious injuries. According to police, Ortega was driving a tan pickup south on Road 1788 when he tried to pass a vehicle in front of him. As he did so, he crashed nearly head-on with an oil company welding truck, which was being driven by Loera.
On Feb. 5, another Midland motorcyclist, 36-year-old Joe Anthony Montemayor, was southbound on Big Spring Street when he crashed into a pickup truck headed east on the south service road of Loop 250. The impact of that crash caused the pickup to graze the front of a second pickup, which was stopped as it traveled north on Big Spring Street. The cause of the accident is not immediately known.
On Feb. 6, a Big Spring man died when his pickup truck crashed into a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1787 and Farm-to-Market Road 1492. The victim of the crash, Justen Vogel, 39, was driving on eastbound FM 1787 as the 18-wheeler and its driver, John McGraw, was headed westbound. But the semi turned to head south on FM 1492 and failed to yield the right of way to the pickup. McGraw was uninjured in the accident.
Finally, on Feb. 19, a 46-year-old Odessa man died from injuries he received when the tow truck he was riding in rolled over on Farm-to-Market Road 1788. The tow truck was the type used to transport trailers. The driver was headed southbound on Farm-to-Market Road 1788 when he lost control of the truck, quite possibly because of weather conditions that night. The driver was uninjured in the rollover accident.
It is unfortunate that the huge economic boom for the communities with shale oil plays have seen such a large increase in accidents and fatalities. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to an accident in one of the communities affected by the new oil shale plays, contact a lawyer whom has experience handling these types of claims. The Texas Trucking Accident Lawyers at Ramsey Hill LLP are here to discuss your legal rights. Call us today!