Two-vehicle head-on collision - Odessa American: News

Two-vehicle head-on collision

ODESSA AMERICAN | Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:00 am

A 22-year-old Midland man remained in critical condition Thursday after a head-on collision between an 18-wheeler and a sports utility vehicle on West Interstate 20 that backed up traffic for more than three hours.

Clinton Pace remained in intensive care at Medical Center Hospital.

Two others injured in the accident — Felipe Nava-Marrato, 34, and Roberto Garcia, 36, both of El Paso — were in stable condition at the hospital.

The accident closed both lanes of Interstate 20 for about three hours, backing up traffic on both service roads for miles. The eastbound lane of the south service road was backed up from Highway 385 to West Loop 338.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Shannon Mauney said Pace was the driver of the Chevrolet Blazer. And, Nava-Marrato was driving the tractor-trailer rig, in which Garcia was a passenger.

“As far as we know right now, the Blazer was westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-20,” Mauney said this morning. “The truck, of course, was eastbound. They came together right here.”

The 6:13 a.m. collision sent the tractor-trailer across the median into the westbound lanes and left the Blazer facing west in the eastbound lanes.

The tractor-trailer took some damage directly to the front-end. It lay diagonal across the westbound lanes, its left turn signal still blinking.

While the accident crumpled the front-end of the big rig, it destroyed the Blazer.

Pieces of the red SUV littered the highway for 150 feet. Rivulets of oil and other engine fluids from both vehicles coursed down grooves in the road.

All the windows in the Blazer were blown out, the front left tire was torn off and the engine compartment was pushed back nearly to the steering wheel. Both front seats were torn from their moorings and pushed out the side of the vehicle.

Clothing, a tennis racket, pocketknife and a dumbell were strewn along side the vehicle.