• July 11, 2022

Hortensia Almaras Killed in Auto Accident on TX-191 in Odessa

UPDATE (July 25, 2022): Reports say 79-year-old Midland man Don Bassett was arrested in connection to this accident. Bassett was reportedly charged with manslaughter.

Odessa, TX — July 7, 2022, 42-year-old Hortensia Almaras died after another driver rear-ended her vehicle on State Highway 191 in Odessa.

According to reports the incident happened around 6:05 p.m. on TX-191. Preliminary investigation suggests Almaras was driving a Mercedes vehicle east in the inside lane when a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup rear-ended her for unknown reasons. After the impact both vehicles left their lane and crashed into the concrete barrier.

Almaras and her passenger were transported to area hospitals. Almaras died of her injuries a short time later. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators say the Chevy driver failed to control their vehicle's speed.

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Hortensia Almaras Accident in Odessa

Reports suggest the rear driver in this crash failed to slow, which stands to reason based on what they say happened. However, they can't really say yet exactly why that driver didn't slow down. Few people intentionally ram into the backs of the cars ahead of them, which is why it's still important to learn the specific reason the Chevy driver didn't slow down.

To that end there are still some questions that need answers: How fast were the two vehicles traveling just before the impact? Was the Chevy driver awake, alert, and paying attention to the road? If not, why not? Might they have been distracted by something in the pickup, like their phone or the radio? Is it possible they were impaired? Did their vehicle malfunction somehow--brakes or steering, for instance? Did the victim suddenly hit the brakes in the Mercedes for any reason?

Hortensia Almaras Killed in Auto Accident on TX-191 in Odessa

That's just a handful of the questions that don't seem to have answers yet, so I hope investigators aren't ready to throw in the towel. The point isn't to overcomplicate things or blame anyone, but it's important to know all the facts and not guess about how or why things went the way they did.

Careful investigation will uncover those facts, but unfortunately police don't always invest the time or effort to get to the bottom of things properly. When people call the firm I often recommend getting help from independent accident reconstruction experts with the time, tools, and training to do the job thoroughly. Any further steps beyond simply learning the full story would depend on what that story turns out to be.

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