• January 17, 2023

Alvin Smith Killed in Crash with Semi-Truck on SH 302 in Odessa, TX

Odessa, TX — January 14, 2023, 38-year-old Nacogdoches man Alvin Smith died in a collision with a semi-truck on State Highway 302 in Odessa.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly after midnight along Highway 302. Preliminary investigation suggests Smith was driving a Lincoln MKZ sedan west when he may have lost control for unknown reasons. The car crossed over the center line into the eastbound lane and collided with an oncoming big rig.

Smith suffered critical injuries in the wreck. He was transported to an area hospital where he died a short time later. The truck driver was reportedly unhurt.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

If reports have the general details of this incident correct and one person crossed over the center line, then clearly it's crucial to learn precisely why that happened. Some may quickly reach their own conclusions, but as always I'd strongly recommend letting only facts and evidence tell the story. I've seen more than a few of these incidents where the damage done was out of the victim's control.

Here's an example from another case I worked on: Much like in Odessa, police said someone crossed the center line and hit an 18-wheeler. Accident reconstruction experts took another look, though, and found that the investigating officer actually misinterpreted what he saw at the scene.

Alvin Smith Killed in Crash with Semi-Truck on SH 302 in Odessa, TX

What actually happened was the truck drifted left of center when its driver fell asleep. The victim steered into the opposite lane to avoid it, but his honking horn woke the truck driver up. The trucker swerved back on-course but once again headed right toward the victim, who couldn't avoid the truck a second time. The officer found both vehicles in the truck's lane when he got there and just assumed the car crossed over first.

That situation was pretty unusual and I'm not saying anything that happened in Odessa. The point is more that things aren't always as straightforward as a few sentences in the news make them sound. That's why it's vital to investigate carefully and keep an open mind until all the dots are connected. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get real answers for the people who need and deserve them.

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