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1995: CAF crash, track star killed - Odessa American: 75th Anniversary

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1995: CAF crash, track star killed

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Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 6:00 am

Stormy weather: A violent thunderstorm slammed Odessa with heavy rain and 54 mph winds. The wind tore half the roof of Diamond Lanes bowling alley and caused 6,000 TU Electric customers to go without power for up to four hours during the night. However, no major injuries were reported.

B-26 crash: On Sept. 28 a Confederate Air Force B-26 crashed on the eve of the group’s annual air show. The crash, in a field south of Odessa, claimed the lives of pilot Tom Cloyd of El Paso, Walter Wootton of Harlingen, Vernon Thorp ofj Ocala, Fla., Colin Dunwell of Surrey, England, and Chris Gardner of Essex, England.

Shell explosion: Three men were killed and two injured following a series of explosions Dec. 1 at Shell Pipe Line Corporation tank farm near McCamey. Odessa residents Bobby Muncy, 40, and Liberato Martinez, 23, died at the scene. Jimmy Jiminez, 46, also of Odessa, died two weeks later from his injuries. The explosion may have been set off by sparks produced when the men welded a valve in an idle pipeline just outside a fire wall designed to contain oil fires and spills.

Economic news: Ector and Midland counties were combined into a Metropolitan Statistical Area, a move that boosted the economy of both locales. Though Midland received a greater share of big businesses moving into the area, officials from both cities said Odessa would profit from economic progress in its sister city and eventually experience a similar growth spurt. Economists suggested that the availability of land around Midland’s North Loop 250 as well as difficulties gaining access to land surrounding Highway 191 in Odessa explained the lopsided growth during 1995.

The proposed expansion of Interstate 27 to Mexico was a hot issue throughout the year as officials of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance convened with state, national and international representatives to ensure the Permian Basin’s inclusion in a trade corridor. In March, local officials unveiled to the Texas Department of Transportation the plan for La Entrada al Pacifico, a concept devised by the alliance and the Chihuahua, Mexico, government, that would extend the highway from Topolabampo, Mexico, to the Midwest United States.

Culver killing: On Dec. 16, 17 year old Todaryl Culver, a Permian High school track star, died from a fatal gunshot wound. The victim’s mother, Betty Culver, was indicted for the murder. The youth, who missed going to the state competition after finishing third at the regional meet in the 400-meter race, also was a member of Permian’s cross country team. His mother said she shot her son accidentally after a dispute over house-cleaning duties.


  • Permian High, ranked No.2 in the state to begin the year, lived up to its ranking, losing in the state title game to Converse Judson, 31-28, at Texas Stadium.
  • The Permian boys gymnastics team repeats as state and national high school champions, setting the national scoring record in the process.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average passes the 4,000 level Feb. 23, and exceeds 5,000 Nov. 21. It closes the year at 5,117.12, an increase of 33.5 percent for the year.
  • Congress repeals the national 55 mph speed limit in a bill signed into law Nov. 28.
  • Following one of the most spectacular trials in U.S. history, former pro football star O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of the slayings of his wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
  • A bomb explodes outside a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
  •  young Brett Favre wins MVP in the NFL.
  • Yahoo is founded.
  • Corey Pavin wins the 95th U.S. Open.
  • MSN and EBay are founded.
  • Eddie George wins the Heisman.

Information is drawn from news accounts, archives and other historical records.

Odessa, TX

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