August 23, 2023 601 PM
MARFA — A Marfa resident was killed on Monday in a high-speed, single-vehicle crash off Golf Course Road, just outside city limits.
David Hinojos, 35, was driving eastbound on Golf Course Road at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle where the road curves, according to a preliminary report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the crash. The vehicle veered off the road, hitting several poles, and rolled several times before coming to a stop.
Hinojos was ejected from the vehicle, and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office, the first agency to respond to the crash.
The sheriff’s office received a 911 call regarding the incident at 6:16 p.m. The Marfa Police Department, the Marfa Volunteer Fire Department and DPS soon arrived at the scene as well, to survey a crash site riddled with debris.
Marfa Fire Chief Gary Mitschke said the speed at which Hinojos was traveling was certainly a factor. The damage to the vehicle was of the severity he had seen in crashes on the highway — he was shocked by the scene he arrived at on Monday night.
“It’s not the kind of thing you would expect to see close into town, where speed limits are greatly reduced,” he said.
Jimmy Melvin, a neighbor of Hinojos, was a partial witness to the crash, though his view was somewhat obstructed. He said he was able to see the car as it approached the curve, and saw the speed at which the car was moving. “I knew he wasn’t gonna make the curve,” he said. “And I heard [the car] rolling.”
Melvin said Hinojos had worked for him in the past, helping him move equipment and lay pipeline. He remembered him as a hard worker.
“He was a good, hard working kid when he was on the job,” said Melvin.
A cousin of Hinojos, Gary Ornelas, arrived on the scene as well. He said his cousin had been a giving person with a good heart, always willing to help his family and expecting nothing in return.
“He was always willing to give a helping hand,” said Ornelas. “He was a good person.”
Justice of the Peace Dina Jo Marquez said she has requested an autopsy for Hinojos. The DPS report confirmed that he had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash — a tragic reminder of the importance of the safety feature, said Mitschke.
“I think it’s important for the public to know the difference between wearing one and not wearing one,” he said. “I think it’s important that everybody wear that seatbelt. Crashes like this can be survivable.”