Community Mourns The Loss of a Local Family

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

KERMIT- The horrifying news quickly reached residents in the small town of Kermit. Three Kermit residents died Sunday night in Odessa.

"It's a very sorrowful thing and I am really sorry for the family," Alice Fosidca, a local resident, said on Monday.

Authorities with the Ector County Sheriff's Office found five people slumped over inside a vehicle in a pond at the J.C. Playground Racetrack Sunday night. Deputies say the group was out going through the mud when they got stuck in four feet of water. The bodies were sent to Tarrant County for autopsies but authorities believe they likely died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Witness report a haze inside the vehicle and all the windows were rolled up.

Members of a large extended family wanted to keep things private and refused to go on camera. Some members of the Polanco family described their relatives as good people who were inseparable.

"The girl that died was actually my sister's best friend," Jadira Rodriguez, a local resident said. "It's a really sad thing."

Family members did tell NewsWest 9 Lenin Polanco worked in the oil field, his wife Martha Caballero was a stay at home mom and his daughter Gladisela Polanco worked at a bank. The Polanco's leave behind two teenagers.

"They were really good to the people," Rodriguez said. "When I heard I was just like wow, everything happened so quick."

One relative said the other daughter of Martha and Lenin was following behind in a car with her boyfriend on the night of the accident. She witnessed everything and tried to rescue her mother, father, and sister. She ended up with minor cuts. Family members plan to setup an account.