Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, November 29, 2001
Crashes caused by winter storm reported in area
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 29, 2001 -- A Kermit man was seriously injured and flown
by Aerocare ambulance to Lubbock Wednesday night, following a one-vehicle
rollover on U.S. 285 28 miles north of Pecos.
The accident was one of many reported yesterday due to the icy weather
conditions, which were expected to end today as the sun peeked through the
clouds and warmed up temperatures across the Permian Basin and other parts
Seven deaths have been blamed on the winter storm, which blew into Texas
on Tuesday and dumped as much as nine inches of snow in the Midland-Odessa
area, closing sections of Interstates 10 and 20 in West Texas.
"We had a lot of accidents reported yesterday, several involving tractor-trailer
rigs," said Pecos Department of Public Safety Communications Officer Elda
Pecos Emergency Medical Service personnel, along with the Jaws of Life
were called out to the accident north of Pecos, which occurred shortly before
8 p.m. near Four Mile Draw on U.S. 285, 11 miles south of Orla. The victim
reportedly suffered head injuries in the accident, and was transported to
Reeves County Hospital before being airlifted to Covenant Medical Center
Additional information on the accident was not available at press time.
Most of the accidents which DPS officers were dispatched to occurred in
the Fort Stockton and Van Horn areas and a couple that happened East of Monahans,
according to Whitten.
The office reported that all highways in the Pecos area were open this
morning, however, those wanting to travel to Fort Stockton are advised not
to until temperatures warm up later today.
"The roads in that area are really bad and traveling in that direction
is not advised at this time," said Whitten. "Don't travel in that direction
if you don't have to."
Texas Department of Transportation emergency crews cleared a tractor-trailer
accident on eastbound Interstate 20 near Big Spring about 10 a.m., last night,
unsnarling a traffic backup as far west as Stanton.
Highway crews cleared a stretch of black ice on eastbound Interstate 10
near Ozona. Traffic had backed up 10 miles during the night and TxDOT had
closed the Interstate at Fort Stockton and Sheffield.
Two tractor-trailer rigs jackknifed on icy sections of Interstate 20 near
Odessa and Penwell shortly before 10 a.m., today, forcing both westbound
and eastbound traffic to detour onto service roads and trapping other motorists
in lengthy traffic back-ups.
One accident near the Dixie Boulevard exit in Odessa has blocked both
westbound lane Odessa police officers are detouring traffic onto the north
service road around the accident scene.
A second accident west of Penwell blocked both eastbound lanes with a
jackknifed tractor-trailer unit. Texas Department of Transportation crews
at the scene detoured traffic onto the south service road at the FM 1053
exit between Penwell and Monahans.
None of the weather-related fatalities were in the Permian Basin, but
three people died in the Abilene area and two others died in accidents in
the Texas Panhandle.
A Nevada man was killed about 4 p.m. Tuesday when he lost control on Interstate
20 and struck another motorist, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman
Ninety minutes later and six miles south of Abilene, Derwood Thomas, 88,
of Abilene died when his vehicle rolled over on an icy stretch of U.S. 83.
Mark Allen Garcia of Winters was killed about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday after a collision
on Texas 36 in Callahan County.
Patsy Davis, 49, of Silverton died after 5 p.m. Tuesday when her vehicle
lost control and veered into oncoming traffic on snowpacked Texas 207 in
Briscoe County in the Panhandle. Two others were seriously injured.
In West Texas, Jean English McDaniel, 61, of Muleshoe died Tuesday after
being thrown from her truck when it went out of control and overturned on
U.S. 84 about 10 miles west of Littlefield in Lamb County.
A Dallas man was injured and his pregnant wife died late Wednesday after
their SUV smashed into a guardrail after hitting a patch of ice in State
Highway 183. Her 8½-month fetus also died.
Law officers in Roanoke closed both eastbound lanes of Texas 114 for more
than an hour after a four-vehicle collision killed 21-year-old Juan Gandara
"Absolutely, weather was a factor," said Roanoke police Lt. Bobby Olivas.
"The bridges were iced over."
Meteorologists said much of the Dallas area had dodged a bullet as the
frigid blast moved into the state. The storm system powered by an upper-level
low pressure system left thousands without electrical power before stalling
over North Texas.
"This threat that the weather has caused certainly is not over yet," said
Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange, warning that the
sheen of ice coating roadways was not apparent to many motorists.
The Dallas area received only light amounts of freezing precipitation.
But it was enough to close the Dallas North Tollway for a time on Wednesday
night after vehicles spun out of control on icy bridges. And north of the
city, in Collin and Grayson counties, heavy ice coated trees and power lines.
"The Metroplex itself dodged a pretty big bullet this week," said Larry
Nerenberg, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
"Areas to our north and west got more than we did."
At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, more flights were being canceled.
American Airlines on Wednesday canceled 50 percent of its flights at DFW
Airport, the carrier's main hub, airport spokesman Ken Capps said.
About 4,000 TXU Electric and Gas customers were without power early Thursday
as gusty winds and ice downed power lines north and west of the Dallas-Fort
About 100 employees and contractors were working to restore service, spokesman
Ray Granado said.
"We're going to work through the whole night if necessary," he said. "We
don't anticipate any long term problems. Mainly it's the high winds and the
TxDOT provides a hotline number 1-800-452-9292 for a road report if you
are planning a trip or go to www.dot.state.tx.us on the Internet.
If you have to travel, slow down. Drive to the condition of the road.
Watch for icing on bridges and overpasses.
Look down the road. Give yourself plenty of time to stop at traffic signals
and stop signs, or if traffic is stopped.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to work. (You might want to leave
home 20-30 minutes, even an hour, earlier than usual).
Make sure your care or pickup's windshield and rear window are clear of
ice. Take the time to scrape the ice off before you leave home.
Watch out for the other guy. Drive defensively.
State Democratic candidates, spokesmen to attend meeting
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 29, 2001 -- Area Democrats will have a chance to "spend
an evening with the candidates" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., this Saturday
at the Pecos Community Center on South Oak Street.
Brewster and Reeves County Democrats are sponsoring a barbeque dinner
where area voters have a chance to meet two democratic candidates along with
surrogates for two other candidates, all of whom are running for statewide
County Democratic Chairman Bob Dean said that he has been working on the
meeting for about two months.
The forum is scheduled to include U.S. Senate candidate Ed Cunningham,
Railroad Commissioner candidate Sherry Boyles, a surrogate for gubernatorial
candidate Tony Sanchez and a surrogate for Land Commission candidate David
Dean said that other candidates along with Sanchez and Bernsen would've
liked to come to the forum in Pecos this weekend but because of scheduling
conflicts, could not.
"A lot more of them would be here if they didn't have conflicts," he said.
Cunningham is originally from Fritch, in the Panhandle of Texas, and a
graduate of the University of Texas, where he played football. After a brief
career in the NFL, Cunningham went to Law School at Texas Tech. Since then
Cunningham has had a successful law career, representing major corporations,
labor groups and professional athletes.
Boyles, originally from Quitman, is the current executive director of
the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). She has worked with
various State Senators and Representatives. Boyles graduated from the University
of Texas in Austin with a bachelor's degree in communications in 1993 and
a law degree in 1996. While at UT, she was elected Student Body President
A Laredo oilman and banker, Sanchez said he would focus on education issues,
health care, a better environment and more jobs at better pay in his campaign.
Sanchez received a business administration and law degree from St. Mary's
University in San Antonio.
Bernsan is currently a state senator. He is originally from Beaumont
and has been involved in numerous state organizations. Bernsan attended
Lamar University in Beaumont where he received a B.B.A., and a law degree
from St. Mary's Law School.
Dean said he hopes to see a lot of community members join the candidates
on Saturday to enjoy free barbecue and mariachi music.
"The public needs to meet the candidates," he said.
Dean said that even though other candidates were unable to attend this
forum, they have expressed interest in coming to Reeves County sometime in
Dean explained that many of the candidates have started their campaigns,
even before they officially announce their candidacy on Monday.
"They started campaigning early," he said. "But they all want to come
to Reeves County."
Dean is currently working on a local meet the candidates' forum for early
K of C schedules benefit next week at St. Catherine's
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 29, 2001 -- Knights of Columbus will be sponsoring
a Barbecue plate sale, next Saturday, Dec. 8, at St. Catherine's Hall at
Plum and Walthall streets.
Barbecue plates, which will include all the trimmings, will be sold beginning
at 11 a.m., for $5 per plate.
The event is a fundraiser for the food baskets delivered during the Christmas
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 29, 2001 -- High Wed. 29. Low this morning 22. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. SW winds 5 to 10
mph. Fri.: Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs in the mid 60s. West winds
10 to 20 mph. Fri. night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Sat.:
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s. Sun.: Partly cloudy. Lows in
the 30s. Highs in the 60s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise