• August 15, 2022

Tristin Dugas Killed in Pedestrian Accident on Highway 191 in Odessa, TX

UPDATE (August 16, 2022): The pedestrian who died in this accident has been identified as 24-year-old Tristin John Dugas.

Odessa, TX — August 13, 2022, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a passenger vehicle on State Highway 191 in Odessa.

According to reports the incident happened around 10:00 p.m. on the 8200 block of Highway 191. Preliminary investigation suggests only that the pedestrian was crossing south through the highway's lanes when a westbound Honda Civic struck them.

The pedestrian died at the scene.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Tristin Dugas Accident on Hwy 191 in Odessa

Some people tend to write off accidents like this too quickly. The common feeling is that pedestrians shouldn't walk in roads unless there's a crosswalk, and they should virtually never try to run through highways. However, the law doesn't use "everybody knows that" as its guideline. Instead, it's important to look closer at all the accident's details and determine how avoidable it really should have been.

Put simply, the law expects everyone to do anything within their power to keep an accident from occurring--even if they have the right-of-way. If a reasonably prudent driver doing everything they're supposed to (hands on the wheel, sober, eyes on the road, traveling the speed limit, headlights on, etc) couldn't have avoided the victim on the road then it clearly wouldn't be right to blame them for what happened. However, if a closer look showed they could have stopped or steered away from the victim--regardless of who had the right-of-way--then investigators must find out why they didn't.

Tristin Dugas Killed in Pedestrian Accident on Highway 191 in Odessa, TX

With that said, I'm not accusing the Odessa driver of anything. I'm only saying that this incident needs more answers to properly understand it. Exactly where was the pedestrian when the car came along? How long had he been in the area? Where did he come from before entering the highway? Are visibility, lighting, and sightlines good on that stretch of road? Did anything prevent the driver from noticing the victim or vice versa? Would reasonably prudent people have done everything the same way?

Every crash deserves careful and thorough investigation to ensure the whole truth is found. Even if it just confirms what police already said, the victim's loved ones deserve to know that every effort was made to find all the facts. If there are any other steps to take, knowing that would largely depend on what those facts turn out to be.

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