David Vela Killed in 18-wheeler Accident in Midland County, TX
Midland County, TX -- December 29, 2022, David Vela was killed after an accident where his vehicle and an 18-wheeler collided.
Public information from the authorities says that the crash took place at around 6:30 p.m. along Highway 158. It appears that 41-year-old David Vela was in a Ford F-350 traveling northbound on the highway. From oncoming lanes, statements say that an 18-wheeler merged to the center lane, then turned left across northbound lanes. This resulted in the two vehicles colliding.
Vela had fatal injuries due to the collision. No one else appeared to be injured. Authorities said that the truck failed to yield, though they did not confirm additional details.
The details I'm seeing right now are more than a little concerning. Just about everyone is expected to handle a simple left turn properly. A supposed professional failing to do so is just baffling. Maybe this was all due to inattention or impatience, but I have concerns which I wonder if locals over in Midland-Odessa share.
As the area explodes in population thanks to the oil and gas industry, so, too, does the amount of commercial vehicle traffic. It would surprise people to see just how many companies operate in that area. Some are local, but many come from all over—even from out of state. With that many different companies around, not all of them are going to be of equal quality.
A lot of companies I've worked with over the years know how to train their drivers. They know how to keep their drivers to a high standard and how to keep them and those around them as safe as possible. They know how to maintain their vehicles, how to schedule their jobs so no one is too tired to drive or overworked, and how to most safely operate within the communities with which they do business. Other companies, though, have only one priority: Get as much work done as fast as possible. They don't care about the community or even their own drivers. All that matters is wheels on the ground and product moving. When that's all a company cares about, safety goes out the window, and it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
Did that happen here? I certainly can't say one way or another without knowing more than what's currently available to the public. With that said, whether it's big pickups, large dump trucks, or massive 18-wheelers, most residents of Midland-Odessa have more likely than not encountered a commercial truck driver who didn't deserve to call themselves a trucker. I can only wonder if this is one of those situations or if there may be more unusual circumstances authorities haven't released yet.