Marfa, TX Dump Truck And Auto Crash, Jan 1999


Marfa, Texas - Six Odessans, including three children, were killed Friday afternoon in a head-on collision with a dump truck on a bridge 16 miles south of Marfa.
According to Mike Cox, media relations official for the Texas Department of Public Safety, RITA MARTINEZ VASQUEZ, 33; BENEDICTO LUJAN VASQUEZ, 81; MARIA BEATRIZ HERNANDEZ, 19; FRANCISCO VASQUEZ, 10; JESUS ALVARADO, 3; and JESSICA ALVARADO, 2; were all killed in the accident.
"Without going into the gory details, there was major destructive trauma to the victims,"
Cox said. He added that the DPS believes the six were returning from visiting family in Presidio.
The six Odessans were traveling in a 1978 Mercury four door and were ejected from the car after it collided with a Texas Department of Transportation dump truck about 1:20 p.m. Friday on U.S. Highway 67.
The Mercury was headed north on U.S. Highway 67 from Presidio when it had a blowout on the left rear tire, Cox said.
The driver, RITA MARTINEZ VASQUEZ, lost control and collided with the southbound dump truck on a bridge over a shallow ravine, Cox added.
JUAN VASQUEZ, 43, no relation, was the driver of the dump truck. He was taken to Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine with minor injuries.
"The force of the collision cut the Mercury into two parts," Cox said. "One part was under the front of the truck."
Originally only five people were thought to be dead, Cox said. However, almost four hours after the crash, when the Mercury was moved from under the dump truck to be towed, JESSICA ALVARADO was found dead underneath the Mercury.
The accident was investigated by DPS Trooper Robert Lujan, a nine-year veteran.
It was reported to Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint four miles south of Marfa by a bread truck driver, Cox said. DPS was then notified.
Cox added that Lujan told him it was the worst accident he had ever seen.
"It is certainly one of the worst traffic accidents in terms of number killed in the last couple of years in Texas," Cox said.

Odessa American Texas 1999-01-16