Please help us understand

Maybe someone familiar with how traffic accidents are handled can explain/justify to us why our freeway had to be closed for almost 20 hours the other day.

It is certainly tragic that people died and others were injured.

The investigation will not bring them back to life.

With video recording equipment being as sophisticated as it is, why is it that pictures could not be taken and analyzed later.

Couldn’t they have cleared the road earlier and done an exhaustive analysis after the fact?

We deserve better

Brutus

14 Responses to Please help us understand

  1. anonymous says:

    One accident on I-10 in El Paso can cause as much of a traffic problem as a major earthquake or forest fire in California.

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  2. Sad El Pasoan says:

    Another fatality waiting to happen is the way fire trucks and ambulances are going to maneuver traffic during an emergency. We should be able to stop TXDOT from doing more damage and to prevent a disaster.

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  3. Sad El Pasoan says:

    I used to work in Santa Teresa, NM, for many years and I never saw police cars patrolling the freeway around Sunland Park. There have been many accidents involving other types of hauling equipment. It is a very dangerous curve and many drivers are zigzagging cars and tractor trailers at 80 to 90 miles per hour.

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  4. Smokey the Bear says:

    One of the big problems was that the contents of the semi continued to smolder many hours after the wreck, making it hard to remove.

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  5. U says:

    When there are deaths the investigation is quite intense to insure all of the data is available for the inevitable court cases both criminal and civil. Noway around it.

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  6. good governance oxymoron says:

    In addition to TickedOff and JerryK’s points, Police and fire had no way of knowing at the time of the accident what the semi-truck was actually carrying as cargo or the toxic impact the fire would have.

    I passed by the accident Tuesday morning and the truck was still smoldering with fire and multiple firetrucks were still on the scene, so there was a major public safety issue if the fire reignited.

    I think police and fire did an excellent job, TXDOT not so much.

    The loop should be completed first and then I-10. To pretend that Mesa can handle all the traffic is absurd and the epitomy of incompetence and indifference on TXDOT’s part.

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  7. Haiduc says:

    Very sad what happened….need more bike lanes!

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  8. Reality Checker says:

    I think we’re ignoring bigger, underlying issues. The real problem isn’t the handling of a single accident. Here we are in the 21st century and the nation’s 19th largest city can be brought to a screeching halt by the shutdown of a single highway. How did we get ourselves in this situation? As always, it’s bad planning, bad decisions, over development, and development without controls.

    The risk of an even worse traffic nightmare and shutdown will rise next week when they totally shut down Paisano between Sunland and Executive. It will be closed for at least eight months. If you drive Mesa on a daily basis, you know that traffic on that corridor has become really bad regardless of time of day. Just getting on or off Mesa takes much longer now due to changes in the timing of lights. Traffic is also backing up at left-hand turn lanes, causing the left-hand lanes to come to a halt.

    The city is now adding a new traffic light in front of the new shopping center and Whole Foods being built across from Coronado High School, so there will now be three lights in less than a half mile; four lights if you count the one at Mesa and Resler. That intersection is going to be a nightmare.

    If I-10 gets shutdown for even a few hours in the next few months, the west side all the way to downtown is totally screwed.

    Start keeping water, food, and walking shoes in your car and a full tank of gas. And pray that your life doesn’t depend on an emergency vehicle getting to you or to the hospital.

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    • charlie says:

      The BIGGEST problem in El Taxo, is that City “Leaders” are incapable of actually “planning” anything. Every major artery is shut down at the same time and many, most times , just barricades and NOBODY doing any work. In most MAJOR cites across the country, MAJOR highway construction is done at NIGHT. It’s unreasonable to expect the local politicians, “Planners” to figure out how to do this. Mostly they like to hire “Friends, Family companies”, who don’t have the capabilities to do the jobs. The City Council/Foster base ball field was completed in record time. But of course that will cost US 60-100 MILLION$$$$ or more.

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  9. Helen Marshall says:

    the El Paso Inc editor pointed out in a critical piece that Allen’s response to this and all other criticism is that he “needs more resources.”
    http://www.elpasoinc.com/columns/publishers_column/article_7ccf52ea-2749-11e6-9cf7-970be4f79bb4.html

    and a letter writer pointed out the complete absence of any police help in redirecting traffic. Four more years of this.
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/opinion/2016/06/01/letters-police-direct-traffic-near-accident-scenes/85276804/

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Our elected officials and public servants are testing us to see just how much abuse we will take before we revolt – re: all the road closures and the local in crowd spending our money foolishly. Must be getting us ready in case Hillary wins….

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  11. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    In this case, I think it was unavoidable. It was a multiple vehicle collision, so each wreck had to be documented with witness statements taken. The rear-ended Lexus was a fireball which took time to put out and cool and those two victims’ remains would have had to be carefully collected. Because there are fatalities the scene needs to carefully investigated and documented to determine if charges get filed. Measurements of skid marks and vehicle positions, and detailed photography need to be done. Plus once all that is finished, there is a lot of cleanup needed to remove debris. The police processing the scene are under a ton of scrutiny. If charges get filed, their diligence determines whether the truck driver gets convicted. But more likely, the family of the dead women will file a civil suit. Their lawyer will go after the trucking company, Lexus (because the vehicle exploded on being rear ended), TXDOT (because of traffic congestion related to construction closures) and possibly the city if it can be proven that congestion at exits due to city road projects was a contributing factor. The police report and accompanying evidence will be closely scrutinized. 20 hours is a long time, but they needed to get this right and darkness would have slowed things down. This really was a horrific accident that would have been avoidable had that truck driver been paying attention to slowing traffic. In this case, the police are just doing their jobs.

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  12. JerryK says:

    In the late 1980s I was living on a quiet residential street in Whitefish Bay, WI. Five high school teen boys playing hooky drove down our street at high speed in mid-afternoon, got the car airborne and hit a large maple tree across the street from my home. Three were killed instantly and another died on the way to the hospital; the fifth was maimed. Every parent’s nightmare right there in front of me, as I had a daughter yet in the high school.

    The street was closed all night while investigators photographed,, measured and performed tests. We kept them supplied with coffee and snacks. This was a once car crash. When people are killed in an accident and there is potential criminal action and, obviously, big insurance claims at stake, the crime scene cannot be recreated in the court room. So, it all has to be documented in such a way that there is a trail of evidence, which is what I saw in my one sad experience that day and that I hope I never see again.

    I was a teenage boy once, too, and when I think of some of the shit we got away with…well I’m glad the gods spared me to live this long.

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  13. Interesting observation. I remember when we first moved to the Dallas area, in 2004, after many years here in El Paso. I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that the police over there would shut down three lanes when only part of one was affected. I felt that they always overdid the time spent on their accident investigation, and I guess the same methods are now common here, too. There certainly does not appear to be any way around if for the average driver.

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