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Fog blamed in crash that killed 1, injured 4 oilfield workers (Video)

By Victoria Advocate
Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.


TIPS FOR DRIVING IN FOG

Drive with lights on low beam.

Reduce your speed.

Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little to hear better.

Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.

Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.

SOURCE: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

Heavy fog is blamed for a collision between a tractor-trailer and a passenger van that killed a 30-year-old Alice man and sent four other people to a hospital Wednesday morning.

Robert Lee Garcia, a passenger in the right rear seat of the van, was pronounced dead at Citizens Medical Center after the 7:30 a.m. crash on U.S. Highway 59 at Hill Road, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lt. Glen Garrett.

The van was traveling north when the tractor-trailer driver, Steven Bishop, 52, of Bogata, struck the van while attempting to cross the two lanes of the highway, said Garrett.

"It was a heavy fog situation," Garrett said. "It looks like a weather-related crash due to the dense fog we were experiencing at the time. The most serious injuries were in the back portion of the van."

Driving for Strad Energy Services of Victoria, Bishop was hauling a front end loader on a flat-bed trailer.

With the crashed vehicles on the highway, a second tractor-trailer - headed south and driven by Isa Allie Grey, 48, of Highlands, also struck the van.

Grey, an independent driver, was hauling two fork lifts on a flat-bed trailer.

The second crash forced the van off the highway, and Bishop pulled his truck onto the grass off the road to avoid any further collisions, said Garrett.

Inside the van, seven workers for Precision Drilling were headed to unknown location, Garrett said. Five of the workers, including Garcia, were taken by Victoria Fire Department Emergency Medical Services to Citizens Medical Center.

All the other passengers taken to the hospital were treated and released, Garrett said.

The driver of the van, Edward Bernal, 43, of Seguin, and a passenger in the front of the van were uninjured.

Neither tractor-trailer driver nor a passenger in the second truck were injured.

The crash remains under investigation, Garrett said.

DPS commercial vehicle enforcement troopers are conducting safety inspections of both trucks to ensure federal motor carrier compliance.

No charges have been filed pending the outcome of the investigation, Garrett said.

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