Fatal Crash in West Odessa Sparks Safety Conversation

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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.

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Earlier Report:

A three-vehicle crash West of Odessa kills two people and injures another.

According to a DPS press release, just after 11:00 Monday morning, about 9 miles west of Odessa, a Peterbilt truck hauling a flatbed trailer was traveling south on FM 866 behind a Peterbilt Crane.

The driver of the Peterbilt truck, 22-year-old Luis Saucedo Lopez of Fort Stockton, failed to control his speed, struck the rear of the crane, then veered into the Northbound Lane.

Lopez’s Peterbilt struck a Ford F-30 driven by 35-year-old Jessie Javier Urias of Monahans head on, causing Urias’s truck to catch fire.

Urias was killed along with his passenger, 22-year-old Victor Jimenez Vasquez, also of Monahans.

Lopez was taken to Medical Center Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

The driver of the crane and a passenger were not injured.