New Information Released on Monday's Deadly Multi-Car Pileup
July 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM CDT - Updated June 28 at 1:43 AM
By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND COUNTY- Authorities have cleared up some of the confusion surrounding Monday night's deadly pileup on Interstate 20 between Loop 338 and FM 1788.
DPS Troopers tell NewsWest 9, there were two separate accidents that happened right next to each other.
One of the crashes occurred in the westbound lanes. That one involved 10 vehicles pulling four trailers. It was that crash that caused the deaths of Jesus Zapata and Felix Vargas of Odessa.
The other accident happened at the same time in the eastbound lanes. That one involved seven vehicles pulling two trailers.
The crashes happened around 6:45 p.m. on Monday.
The pileup was triggered by a dust storm that created low-visibility. In some cases, witnesses told authorities they couldn't see anything.
In a press conference held by DPS late Tuesday afternoon, DPS Trooper Molly Hernandez told NewsWest 9, "Midland has really grown, so any time that happens of course these kinds of crashes start occurring more often. All I can say to the public is watch what you're doing. Keep your eyes on the road. Observe the posted speed limit signs, weather conditions and so forth."
Trooper Hernandez says in her three years of working with Midland County DPS, she has never seen an accident this enormous.
DPS is conducting an extensive investigation. So far, no citations have been issued.
The crash report should be released in approximately 10 days.