TxDOT looking for possible road modifications after two recent crashes on same highway

TxDOT looking for possible road modifications after two recent crashes on same highway

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Two major crashes, on the same stretch of road, just days apart. One crash was deadly.

On Saturday morning, a pickup driving eastbound on SH 158 hydroplaned, striking a car driving westbound. Four people were killed, including three minors ages 14, 12, and 17.

Tuesday, an 18-wheeler driving westbound hydroplaned spilling oil on the roadway.

Both crashes happened on SH 158 about six miles east of Midland during wet road conditions.

"It's a stretch of highway that has a tremendous amount of commercial vehicle traffic as well as passenger vehicle traffic," said Gilbert Carter, owner of a local  trucking company. "They are in such a hurry to save a few seconds of their day and that's what causes accidents."

Carter is also a retired firefighter. He says he's seen all kinds of crashes on SH 158, especially when the road is wet.

"The deterioration of the asphalt, you have an area for water to pool. If a vehicle is traveling faster than what is safely for the road conditions, the truck will hydroplane on a small amount of water," said Carter.

Carter says it's important for drivers to slow down and adjust their driving based on weather conditions.

"Giving your space, covering your break, scanning the horizon, you're going to be a much safer driver and the roadways are going to be much safer. When we get out and try to travel through the water on the highway, it's going to make for an unsafe condition," said Carter.

TxDOT says they only got complaints on the stretch of road after the recent crashes.

"The Odessa District of TxDOT is currently evaluating this section of SH 158, looking for possible roadway modifications that might result in safety improvements. Our sympathies go out to those affected by the tragedies," said Gene Powell, TxDOT public information officer.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.