Tuesday, December 29, 1998
Union Pacific sued over `97 crossing accidentBy PEGGY McCRACKEN
Union Pacific Railroad denies any negligence in a train-pickup collision that damaged the pickup and injured its driver on Dec. 15, 1997.
Felipe Ramos Cobos claims in a federal court suit that he was driving his wife's 1986 Chevrolet S-10 pickup north on Willow Street when the train hit the pickup in the right front fender, spinning it 360 degrees.
As a result, Cobos suffered severe injuries to his back, arms, legs, head, neck, chest and body, the suit alleges. He seeks $250,000 each for physical pain and mental anguish in the past and in the future, and for disabilities, plus $5,000 in medical expenses.
Cobos' wife, Rose Carrera, claims she owned the pickup, and it sustained $4,725 in damages.
They claim that Union Pacific was negligent in failing to provide a signal, crossing gate or flagman, to designate the crossing as particularly dangerous, and in failing to clear the crossing of surrounding high brush and weeds so that approaching trains would be plainly visible to the public.
Other acts of negligence alleged include the train's excessive speed, failure to emit an audible signal, failure of the train's driver to keep a lookout for the plaintiff's safety, failure to apply the brakes to avoid a collision and failure to post a railroad crossing warning sign similar to that at the Elm Street crossing.
Failure to properly post the railroad crossing sign on Willow Street, which is placed at an angle so the driver does have clearly visible view of the sign, is also alleged.
The sign stood at an angle this morning, but some tall brush that had partially obscured the driver's view of the tracks have been removed.
Missouri Pacific sought to close the Willow Street crossing, along with others, before merging with Union Pacific. Pecos City Council denied permission because citizens who live north of the tracks objected to having crossings only on Cedar Street and Elm Street, which are just three blocks apart from each other, and on "F" Street, located at the western edge of town and three miles from the other crossings.
Roddy Harrison filed the suit on behalf of Cobos and Carrera. Richard Glenn Davis of El Paso filed an answer for Union Pacific and had the suit removed from 143rd District Court to federal court in Pecos.
Pair jailed in E. side drug bustBy ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Pecos Police Department S.W.A.T. were busy Monday "sniffing" out drugs, arresting two more people as part of a continuing series of raids that began in September.
On Monday city and county teams executed a narcotics search warrant issued by Municipal Court Judge Phyllis Salyer on a home at 1033 Martinez St., belonging to Mike and Irene Martinez. Police said during the search, a white powder substance believed to be cocaine was located in the bathroom and on the counter located in the living room.
"The evidence was field tested, and it tested positive for cocaine," said investigator Ernest Lazcano.
A homemade "bong," (a pipe used to smoke marijuana) was found in the bedroom of a minor, according to Lazcano and investigator Paul Deishler.
Because the residence is located within 1,000 feet of Bessie Haynes Elementary (drug-free zone), both Mike Martinez, 33, and Irene Martinez, 35, were charged with a third degree felony and transported to Reeves County Jail.
The couple remained in Reeves County Jail this morning, awaiting arraignment.
The minor was given a ticket for possession of drug paraphernalia a class C misdemeanor and released to the custody of a family member.
P-B-T OKs Building A roof repairsBy ROSIE FLORES
Building A at Pecos High School will acquire a new roof soon, after a decision made during a special school board meeting.
"A notice has been published in the Pecos Enterprise advertising for an engineer/architect," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.
"This is the first step in getting this project started and we will be following a procedure," said Love.
As a result of the Dec. 18 special meeting, the district is soliciting statements of qualification for professional Texas registered engineer/architects for design and construction administrative services for roof replacement, according to a legal that appeared in Monday's newspaper.
"This time we're going to do it right, no more patching it," said Love.
Leaking has been a major problem in the 25-year-old building in recent years, and the snowfall on Dec. 11 and subsequent melting over the weekend caused flooding in the main lobby of Building A and in classroom areas as well.
Love stated that this is something that had concerned him greatly and is happy that it will be fixed right. "Hopefully, this will be the end of our problems with that roof," Love said. "It will be completely redone," he said.
Feds seeking $7,900 cash in forfeitureBy PEGGY McCRACKEN
Government prosecutors have filed a forfeiture complaint against $7,900 taken from a Big Spring man.
Robert Freeman Jackman, 35, and Elveria Brito, 39, were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents as they traveled through Marfa on July 17. Agents found 2.44 pounds of cocaine and the currency in their vehicle, the complaint alleges.
They were indicted Aug. 6 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents seized the currency, and Jackman filed a claim for its return, posting the required 10 percent cost bond.
Brito gave a statement claiming that she went to Ojinaga, Mex., with Jackman, and that he took $20,000 with him to purchase cocaine. They were returning to Big Spring when they were stopped.
WEATHERHigh Monday 63; overnight low 35. Tonight, fair. Lows lower 30s. Light winds. Wednesday, partly cloudy. Highs mid 60s. Southwest winds 10-20 mph. Forecast for New Years Day, partly cloudy and windy. Lows upper 30s to mid 40s. Highs mid 60s to lower 70s.
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