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Monday, July 23, 2001

One killed, three injured in weekend area crashes

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 23, 2001 -- A Pecos woman died as a result of a one-vehicle rollover on U.S.  285 early Sunday, one of numerous accidents that occurred  this weekend.

Hilda Isabel Stoner, 34, of Pecos, died after the vehicle she was traveling in rolled over and ejected her from the vehicle.

A dispatcher for the Texas Department of Public Safety said that the accident occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m., on Sunday, about 5.8 miles south of Pecos.

She said that Stoner was traveling north on U.S 285 in a 1998 Chevrolet pickup when she drifted into the east side bar ditch and overcorrected.

"The driver overcorrected to the left and struck the end of the guard rail on the Eastside of the road," the dispatcher said. "The vehicle re-entered the roadway and rolled onto the passenger side."

The vehicle then struck the Westside guardrail and rolled over the top down a 20-foot embankment-rolling end to end one time, ejecting Stoner from the vehicle.

"She was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:40 a.m., by Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco," the dispatcher said.

The accident is being investigated by Highway Patrol Trooper Phillip Breeding.

Another rollover occurred at 2:18 p.m., Sunday at mile marker 50 on Interstate 20, near the FM 516 (Barstow) exit.

DPS reports that the vehicle involved in that accident was also a pickup. The Toyota Tundra pickup was pulling a Fleetwood Pioneer RV trailer headed eastbound on I-20 when the driver lost control of the vehicle and went into the center median of the highway, where the vehicles rolled over and came to rest facing west in the center media.

According to the Pecos Police reports Pecos Ambulance personnel transported two individuals to Reeves County Hospital as a result of that accident.

Pecos EMS also transported one female that was involved in a two-vehicle accident that occurred on Saturday in front of Wal-Mart.

According to Police Investigator Olga Lopez, driver Delma Rodriguez, 29, of Pecos, was transported to Reeves County Hospital with injuries.

Lopez said that Rodriguez was traveling Northbound on Cedar Street in her 1992 green Nissan when another vehicle pulled out of the Wal-Mart parking lot in front of Rodriguez.

In efforts to avoid the other car, Rodriguez skidded sideways, striking a light pole and continued to skid sideways hitting a guardrail, according to Lopez and the police report.

She said that Rodriguez' car then slid around to face South and hit the guard rail again going down into the concrete drainage ditch and coming to rest on the north side of the ditch.

The other vehicle involved in the accident left the scene.

Rodriguez' car was taken to B&B Wrecker.

Police Sergeant Cosme Ortega is investigating that accident.

Police probing death of man found in trailer

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 23, 2001 -- The Pecos Police Department is continuing their investigation into  the death of a man whose body was  discovered in a mobile late Friday  afternoon in the 200 block of Walthall Street.

Robert Lee Morse, 28, was found on the floor of the mobile home after police officers had to force entry into the home. Police believed Morse's body had been there for approximately three days when it was discovered.

Police Investigator Olga Lopez said that Morse had an address in Shepherd.

Police Chief Clay McKinney said that a female called the police at approximately 4 p.m., on Friday in reference to a man with a knife.

McKinney said that when police arrived on the scene they did see a man lying on the floor of the mobile home with a knife several feet away.

"Once the police officers got there they determined that the individual was deceased," he said. "Right now we feel like he had been dead for approximately three days."

Lopez said that the last time Morse was scene alive was on Wednesday night.

"A neighbor that was helping him work on an air conditioner saw him last," she said.

It is believed that an estranged girlfriend of the man is the one who notified the police.

McKinney said that when the police officers arrived they had to force their way into the home because the doors were locked from the inside.

He said that the police found no indications of any foul play but would continue to investigate it as a homicide for the time being.

"At this point we did not find any indicators that would persuade us that foul play was involved," he said. "It's police department procedure to investigate any suspicious death as a homicide until we know otherwise."

McKinney said that the police did find what is believed to be a suicide note.

"We did find what appeared to be a suicide note," he said. "That has not been confirmed yet."

He said that the department's expert hand writing analyst would compare the man's handwriting to the note to determine whether or not the note is from the man.

Even though the temperature reached over 100 degrees every day last week, McKinney said that the weather did not cause the body to change and cause any trouble with the investigation.

"The condition of the body when we found it did not hamper the investigation," he said.

Reeves County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Amanario Ramon ordered an autopsy to be performed and the body was sent to Lubbock for the examination.

McKinney said that the autopsy would help the investigation.

"The autopsy will hopefully tell us a lot," he said.

Lopez is still investigating the death.

Lubbock man has lengthy trip after tire blows out

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 23, 2001 -- Some of the Firestone tires are still considered to be unsafe and have  yet to be recalled by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.

The latest incident happened to a resident of Lubbock, Clayton Daniel.

On his way to Big Spring from Lubbock, Daniel's 2001 Ford Ranger's right rear tire blew out.

"If the blow out had been in the front, I would be dead right now," Daniel said.

After taking his tire to the Ford Dealership in Big Spring, he was told that they could not do anything to help him and that if he wanted a replacement he would have to go to the main office in California.

"I was told that a nail had caused my tire to blow," Daniel said. "But if you look at the tire it does not seem as if a nail could have done that."

Now, in less then two months, Daniel's Ranger has 6,158 miles on it after a trip to Los Angeles.

"I drove at 55 miles an hour because I did not feel safe going any faster," Daniel said.

The tires that are on Daniel's Ranger are of the name brand Firestone Wilderness.

Previously a recall on P235/75R15 size ATX and ATX II tires as well as P235/75R15 size Wilderness AT tires was made at its plant based out of Decatur, Ill. Bridgestone/Firestone said that there are a million more tires of different sizes that are still on the road.

In an announcement made in May by Ford Motor Co., they said that due to concerns about the safety of all sizes of the Wilderness AT tires it would replace 13 million on its vehicles.

With the replacement of the tires made by Ford, Bridgestone/Firestone will then be forced to recall the tires. If this happens Ford could then ask for payment to recover the $2.1 billion it spent on the campaign. However, it is to early to say whether the company will do so, Ford spokesman Ken Zino said.

With Bridgestone/Firestone already spending $900 million on the recalls and facing hundreds of lawsuits, having to pay the automaker could be devastating to the company, which has announced plans to close the Decatur plant due to the lower sales in the tires.

There have been at least 203 deaths and more then 700 injuries linked to the Firestone tire failures in the United States. Most of the rollovers involved the popular Ford Explorers, which came with the tires as standard equipment.

Daniel, who is now heading back to Lubbock from Los Angeles, said that he would be stopping at every town to inform people that there still is a problem with the tires manufactured by Bridgestone/Firestone.


PECOS, Monday, July 23, 2001 -- High Sunday 108. Low this morning 75. Forecast for  tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 70s. Southeast wind 5 to 10  mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of  showers and thunderstorms. High around 103. Southeast wind 5 to 15  mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance  of evening showers and thunderstorms. Low in the mid  70s. Wednesday and Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 70s.  Highs around 100.


Lucia Renteria

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