Odessa Worker Swept Away by High Waters Found Dead

Odessa Worker Swept Away by High Waters Found Dead

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

ORLA, NM - Just this weekend, 39-year-old Randy Boland had flown in his girlfriend from Mexico. She said they were going to pick out wedding rings. But fate had something else planned.

The Odessa man was swept away in high waters on his way back from New Mexico early Friday morning.

"I cant believe it, Randy is a very strong person. He fights hard for everything in every aspect. I told myself, 'this isn't true, this couldn't possibly be happening to him," his girlfriend, Reyna Lopez Garcia, said.

We're told it all started around 2 a.m. after the Express Energy Services crew finished a casing job there. One of the men who was with Boland at the time of the disappearance told NewsWest 9 more about the incident but asked to remain anonymous.

According to him, they were crossing a spot with shallow water when all of a sudden a wall of water hit them. So they climbed out of the drivers side window. That's when he said Boland vanished into the high flood waters.

Eventually, the man told NewsWest 9 all he could see were headlights and taillights as the truck washed away and all he could hear was Boland's screams.

Garcia had last heard from Boland just before 1 a.m. She then fell asleep and woke up around 6 a.m. to a call that he was missing. Immediately she began gathering information, something that proved to be a struggle with the little English she spoke.

"The Sheriff from New Mexico called me and he told me that they were looking for him but they didn't know anything. In other words, he called me to tell me nothing," she explained. "I asked them if there was any evidence or anything they could go off of and they said, 'no, nothing.'"

She said he mentioned that there was a helicopter there and about 50 people searching. Garcia said she was confident that the U.S. authorities would find him, though she wasn't sure if it would be in time.

Since then, Garcia received word that Boland's body had been found a half mile near the site in Orla. That information was confirmed by a Express Energy Services representative.

They said another company truck was following behind. But all other employees made it out safe.

In a statement by Express Energy, they say, "to know that a family has been forever changed by this tragedy is devastating. No words can convey the pain. The loss is heart wrenching, the impact lasting." They go on to add that, "the safety and well-being of our employees is always our first priority and when a tragedy like this occurs we have to step-back, re-evaluate and move forward with a strong resolve to make sure a tragedy like this doesn't happen again."

Boland had been with the company for four years. He is survived by a son.