April 12, 2023 649 PM
Update: After The Big Bend Sentinel went to press on Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety released a preliminary report with more information on the crash. The two deceased women have been identified as Irma Rodriguez-Dominguez, 59, and Carolina Rodriguez Leyva, 65, both of Presidio.
The report from DPS states that at around 6 p.m. on Monday evening, the Chevrolet Traverse carrying Rodriguez-Dominguez and Leyva, traveling south, was struck head-on by a northbound Ford F-150 that drove into the southbound lane. Both women were pronounced deceased at the scene by Justice of the Peace Dina Jo Marquez. The man who had been driving the Ford F-150 was injured, but survived and is in stable condition.
PRESIDIO COUNTY — Two women died in a car crash on U.S.-67 south of Marfa on Monday evening, according to authorities, while a male survivor suffered injuries. As of press time, details were still coming into focus as the Texas Department of Public Safety continued its investigation.
The Marfa Police Department and the Marfa Volunteer Fire Department were paged to the scene around 5:45 p.m. on Monday, said Marfa Police Chief Gilbert Carillo. According to Marfa Fire Chief Gary Mitschke, who was at the scene, the crash occurred about 28 miles south of Marfa.
Mitschke said he was awaiting the results of a DPS investigation into the crash, but the severity of the scene indicated a head-on collision.
“It was a head on, which was pretty obvious by the amount of damage,” he said.
Two women were pronounced dead at the scene, he said. A man, whose truck had gone off the road and caught fire following the collision, was transported to an El Paso hospital with internal injuries. A passerby had pulled the survivor out of the flaming vehicle and up out of the steep ravine where it burned.
Responders had to close the highway for about an hour in order to extricate the bodies from the wreckage, said Mitschke. The corridor is so heavily traversed that during that time, northbound traffic was piled up for about five to six miles.
The damage to the vehicle of the deceased was so severe, said Mitschke, that responders had to cut the vehicle in order to get one of the bodies out.
“It was one of the worst ones I’ve seen,” said Chief Carillo of the crash.
On Wednesday, as The Big Bend Sentinel was going to press, a DPS spokesperson said the investigation was ongoing, as the survivor had yet to be interviewed. The agency would not release any information pending the completion of a crash report and has yet to publicly identify the deceased.
The fatal crash is the latest of its kind along the stretch of highway between Marfa and Presidio, which Mitschke has said can be dangerous due to a high volume of traffic and a tendency of drivers to speed and pass other drivers in no passing zones.
In May of last year, a Chihuahua man was killed while traveling home for Mother’s Day when another vehicle veered into his lane and struck him head-on, causing his car to flip. In 2021, two Presidio residents — a mother and daughter — were killed on the highway when a vehicle veered into their lane and struck them head-on.
The Texas Department of Transportation has taken steps aimed towards addressing safety issues along the corridor, adding additional passing lanes to the route after conducting a years-long study. Those passing lanes are positioned between mile markers 966 and 968 near Cibolo Creek Ranch Airstrip.
This is a developing story. The Big Bend Sentinel will provide updates as they become available.