Five People Sent to the Hospital After Afternoon Accident in Odessa

Five People Sent to the Hospital After Afternoon Accident in Odessa

by Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - People on the street say you could hear the sound of metal on metal from a block away or more on Wednesday afternoon. An Odessa resident who didn't want to be identified heard the wreck.

"I was walking this way and all the sudden, I just heard bam. A bunch of glass exploding," the resident said.

It was the sound of two cars colliding. A gold Grand Marquis was going down Eighth Street, sped through the red light and rammed into a black Lincoln Navigator.

Five people are in the hospital with two of them in critical condition. Corporal Steve LeSueur says the situation would be different if a red light camera had been at the intersection.

"Absolutely. Once red light [cameras] are in effect, people take that into consideration and they use more caution when approaching intersections like these," LeSueur said.

The Odessa City Council has continued to talk about the pros and cons of the cameras. After taking a picture of your license plate for running the red light, drivers would get a fine in the mail. Wednesday's accident was another example of why the city is looking at this issue seriously.

Red light cameras have come up before but no motion was made during a City Council meeting. Hal Feldman, a traffic coordinator for Odessa, remembers what happened when the City Council last discussed red light cameras.

"I believe it was about five years ago. The concept and discussion of red light cameras came up at that time. It went to City Council and it basically died for a lack of a motion. So no action was taken at that time," Feldman said.

While there are no cameras in place, people say no one pays attention.

"Nobody pays attention anymore. They pull out in front of you just like right here somebody ran this red light. Either this one (car) or that one (vehicle). That eventually made people get hurt," the resident told NewsWest 9.

These cameras are designed to make people think twice about running the red light. It would take about 90 days for red light cameras to be installed in Odessa intersections.