Family Who Lost Home to Runaway Bulldozer Speaks Out

by Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - A bizarre bulldozer accident destroyed an Ector County family's home. No one was riding in the bulldozer when it plowed through a total of three houses.

NewsWest 9 spoke with one family who lost pretty much everything. They're asking the same question everyone else is. How did it happen?

Family and neighbors are still in shock after Saturday night's strange and destructive events.

Ector County Sheriffs are trying to figure out how a bulldozer managed to travel hundreds of feet without an operator, destroying two homes and severely damaging another.

And at the same time, Nancy Hernandez and her family, are trying to figure out where to go from here.

Saturday evening started off like any other for Nancy Hernandez, at home with her husband and kids, when they decided to take a family outing.

"We never go out, we're always home being couch potatoes and my kids playing in their room and we just decided to go out," Hernandez said.

She didn't know it yet but that decision saved her whole family.

"A niece called me and told me to go home because something had happened," Hernandez said. "We got there and I saw it and it was devastating."

An un-manned bulldozer completely demolished Nancy's house, leaving a path of destruction behind it and quickly moving ahead.

"We noticed the bulldozer with its blades up, it was coming," Maria Chavez said. "It was going fast and the noise, the sounds, it was loud. It was very scary."

That's when Chavez and her family saw there was no one behind the wheel and watched the bulldozer plow into yet another house.

"It was ramming and just going and going in that house," she said. "Nobody thought twice, they just jumped in there and turned it off but it was already smashed in there."

After finally coming to a stop, two mobile homes were completely flattened and a third house very badly damaged. No one was home at any of the houses.

On Sunday, the families came to pick up the pieces of what used to be their homes. The family had no insurance so they're praying they can quickly get back on their feet.

"We're hoping it's soon because when you have a family, it's hard to be out of your house," Hernandez said.

Nancy said this is a tough time for her and her family, but it's a miracle no one was home.

"We don't have a home, two of my kids are without clothes but all of that is replaceable," she said. "Your life isn't."

The Red Cross is helping the family but Nancy said she's not sure where the family will go after that time runs out.

Ector County Sheriff deputies are still piecing together information and the biggest question right now is if this was an accident or an act of criminal mischief.

This case is still being investigated and we'll bring you the latest information as it comes in.