The information was delayed by several days, the Texas Department of Public Safety on Monday announced that two children had died and several others were injured in a number of bad-weather-related accidents in and around Odessa, Texas in the last week.
One accident occurred on Interstate 20 near mile marker 106, at around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, when an eastbound Ford F-350 slid on a patch of ice and went off the roadway, through the center median and directly into the path of a westbound tractor-trailer.
That accident claimed the life of 7-year-old Zachary Blake, while his brother, Nathan Blake, 14 suffered a collapsed lung and several broken bones and his sister Brianna Blake, 12, was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital for head injuries. She was in critical condition and was put into a medically induced coma. According to the DPS accident report, neither the driver of the pickup, 25-year-old Zaragoza Salinas III nor the tractor-trailer driver, 24-year-old Ashmed Ali, were injured. Everyone in both vehicles had been wearing a seatbelt.
Then, on Friday, Jan. 2, a 4-year-old girl was killed in another accident, when 27-year-old driver William Wade Viss of Arizona lost control of his 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck on a patch of ice as he drove westbound on State Highway 302. That caused him to veer into the eastbound lane, where he hit a 2013 Ford truck driven by Johnathan Taylor Sherrill, 31, of Odessa. Neither Sherrill nor his passenger, Gerardo Jesse Amador, a 25-year-old Odessa resident, were injured.
On the other hand, Viss was transported to Winkler County Memorial Hospital with very serious injuries. His passenger, Delilah Marie Brisby, 25, was transported to the same hospital and later released. Unfortunately, their 4-year-old rear passenger, Dixi Kay Viss, was pronounced dead on the scene.
Tragedies such as these can be devastating for a family, especially when the worst victims are young children. Texas DPS will undoubtedly conduct a thorough investigation of both of these accidents, to determine every possible factor. In addition to the ice on the road, they will also look into the conditions and skills of the drivers, whether or not they were distracted, and the mechanical condition of the vehicles involved. The children who were injured may need significant medical assistance and rehabilitation to get back to something resembling a normal life. That means making sure every possibly negligent party is held responsible, and obtaining compensation from insurance companies or other parties that may be at fault.
If you and/or your child or another loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a terrible traffic accident, please contact the a San Antonio wrongful death attorney at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can conduct a thorough investigation and help you protect your rights.