Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
PHS student recovering from impalement in crash
A Pecos High School junior is recovering in Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, after being impaled on a pipe after crashing through a fence Thursday night on the north side of town.
Hector Roman, 17, was airlifted to Medical Center Hospital with a section of the fence still imbedded in his shoulder following the accident, which occurred in the 1400 block of West ‘F’ Street.
Roman was in stable condition at Medical Center Hospital on Monday and is in a private room at this time, according to his mother, Marlene Roman.
“He is doing better, it’s going to be awhile before he heals completely, but he is doing good,” said Roman.
She said that the doctors have done surgery to remove the pipe, but her son will be facing more surgery later.
“They still have to work on the nerve,” said Roman. “But the doctors won’t do that surgery yet,” she said.
According to the accident report by Texas Department of Public Safety Cpl. Emmit Moore, Hector Roman was driving a 1999 Plymouth Voyager van when he fell asleep while driving eastbound on West ‘F’ Street.
Roman’s vehicle left the road on the north side and came through a fence outside the home of Nicholas Valenzuela, 1484 W. ‘F’ St. The top corner of the fence broke off and smashed through the window of the van. It then went through Roman’s left shoulder, and continued into the windshield of the vehicle between the steering wheel and the center console.
“It looked like it came through the side window,” Moore said. “It’s hard to tell, but it ended up embedded in the windshield.”
The force of the collision pulled about 30 feet of the metal tube off the top of the fence and dragged it behind the van, before the vehicle came to a stop against the front porch of the Valenzuela home.
Pecos police and Reeves County sheriff’s deputies were the first emergency personnel on the scene, followed by Pecos EMS attendants and Pecos Volunteer Fire Department personnel, who used the Jaws of Life to first cut off the trailing 25 feet of fence pipe, and then to cut away part of the section between the windshield and Roman.
He was then taken to Reeves County Hospital, where firemen and the jaws were called a short time later to cut off more of the pipe. Roman was then flown by CareStar helicopter to Odessa. Doctors there removed the fence from the teen’s shoulder, and he spent Friday in Intensive Care Unit of Medical Center Hospital before being moved into a private room over the weekend.
“We’re trying to limit the number of visitors, mostly because of the risk of infection,” said Marlene Roman. She said anyone wanting to visit her son can do so, but must take precautions because of the severity of the wound.
“We just want them to wash their hands really well and try not to infect him, we want everyone to be careful,” she said.
Roman was scheduled to compete this Thursday in the Region I-4A Diving Championships in Lubbock. He had won the District 4-4A title in Pecos on Jan. 25, and last year placed second at regional at seventh overall in the Class 4A state finals, earning All-American honors in the process.
He was swamped with visitors this weekend, mostly his swim team pals. Pecos Eagle athletic director Chris Henson and other Eagle coaches in Midland on Friday for the UIL realignment announcement visited with Roman, and Eagles’ swimming coach Terri Morse visited with the junior on Saturday.
“He could move his arm and wiggle his fingers, so that’s good,” Morse said. “There may be some restriction of movement, but we’ll just have to see.
“He’s going to face a period of rehabilitation, and it may depend on just how much he wants it,” she added. “He’s still young, so that helps, and if he does what the doctors say he should be able to come back for next season.”
An account has been set up for the young swimmer at Trans Pecos Bank and anyone wanting to help the family can do that at that location in Pecos.
Two more local candidates apply for PEDC’s top job
Pecos Economic Development Corp. board members will interview a current member of the PEDC’s 4B board and the Town of Pecos City’s public works director for the position of PEDC president, during a special meeting set for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
The 4B board will meet in council chambers at City Hall, where they also met last Wednesday to discuss several items, including the status of the PEDC president. City Manager Joseph Torres has been handling the role on an interim basis, after former PEDC president Mike Burkholder resigned in October.
Torres said PEDC board member Jimmy Dutchover and city public works director Edgardo Madrid have applied for the position, and will be interviewed during an executive session on Wednesday.
Dutchover was named to the 4B board in October when it began operations, after serving on the 4A board for several years. He currently serves as AEP and transportation director for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, while Madrid has been the city’s public works director for the past three years.
Voters approved the creation of a 4B PEDC Corporation last May under state law, which allows 4Bs to spend money on a wider variety of items, including tourism-related issues and in-town business retention and expansion. Torres said if either man were selected for the job, they would have to resign their other position. “It will be a full-time job, so if Edgardo gets it, we’ll have to look for a new city engineer, and Jimmy would have to resign from the school,” he said.
In other action this past Wednesday, the PEDC board accepted a bid from Zimco for $18,103 for conduit to be buried south of Interstate 20, at the planned site for a new Hampton Inn. The PEDC is helping with the cost of burying the utility lines in the area, due to its location near the Pecos Municipal Airport.
Torres said city crews would do the trenching to bury the lines, as part of over utility line repairs in the Canon Street area south of the interstate.
The board also heard a presentation, but took no action on an offer from Robert Martinez, vice president of business development for CGM Consulting of Odessa. Torres said the offer was for assistance to the PEDC on business development, which would include filling out a questionnaire on the city’s needs that CGM would then develop a plan to enact.
“We will meet with them on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. to go over the questionnaire,” Torres said.
Along with the executive session on the PEDC president’s post at this coming Wednesday’s meeting, Torres said the board would also discuss and consider bids on banking services and loans to the 4B PEDC. He said both local banks are expected to make bids on the service and loan contracts.
Council opts against changing engineering pact
The engineering firm that won the contract to develop the Town of Pecos City’s new wastewater treatment plant on Jan. 22 earned that right again last Wednesday, after the contract for the $6.7 million project was re-bided by the city council during a special meeting.
Parkhill, Smith and Cooper was awarded the bid by the council, after hearing from its representatives and those from two other engineering companies, Naismith Engineering and a tandem bid by Frank X Spencer & Associates and Garcia & Wright Engineering. Parkhill, Smith and Cooper originally was awarded the bid eight days earlier, but the city decided to re-bid the contract because the other two groups had not been informed the council had changed the date of its meeting from Jan. 24 to Jan. 22.
“We’re reconsidering it due to a lack of communication on my part,” said city public works director Edgardo Madrid.
“We want all firms to have a chance to make a presentation,” he told the council. “All of the firms are qualified and it’s up to the council to make a decision.”
Representatives from all three groups told the council their companies have developed mechanical wastewater treatment facilities in Texas, and told the council they would work with the city to acquire the maximum amount of funding through the Texas Water Development Board and other agencies.
Naismith’s projects have mostly been in the south and eastern parts of the state, but they are currently working on a project with the city of Alpine. Frank Spencer and Raul Garcia told the board they were currently working on a wastewater project for the city of Presidio, and Spencer said he had worked on 140 projects for Pecos over the past 25 years, including the development of the South Worsham Water Field, which came on line four years ago, and worked on repairing collapsed sections of the city’s main sewer line along Third Street in the late 1990s.
Parkhill engineer Ralph E. Truszkowski offered a similar presentation to the one made by the company at the Jan. 22 meeting, noting that the company was involved in projects in Kermit and Fort Stockton, and had worked on the city’s current wastewater treatment plant in past years, including the most recent construction project in the early 1980s.
The reconstruction of the city’s wastewater treatment plant is part of an overall major reconstruction of the city’s sewer system, including the impending start of installation and reconstruction work on sewer lines on the north and east sides of town.
Gomez seeks local members for sheriffs’ group
Responding to the increased number of citizens wanting to assist law enforcement officials and build a stronger partnership in the fight against crime, Sheriff Arnulfo “Andy” Gomez announced that Reeves County citizens are being invited to become Associate Members of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas.
Membership invitations will go out in the mail shortly. The funding provides critical training, technical resources, and legislative support on key criminal justice issues.
In addition, dues will be used to support crime prevention and awareness programs, promote public safety, fight drug abuse, provide additional training for sheriffs and their deputies, and provide scholarships for children of law enforcement officers.
Contributions are tax-deductible.
“The Associate Membership Drive helps provide the funding which is vital to our mission of making our communities safer places to live, work and play,” said Sheriff Gomez.
Citizens not receiving a membership appeal or desiring more information can contact the Sheriff’s Association of Texas at: 1601 S. IH-35, Austin, Texas 78741 or visit the website at HYPERLINK "http://www.txsheriffs.org" www.txsheriffs.org.
The Associate Membership Program was created to provide citizens with an opportunity to lend their support to more effective law enforcement and to better help local sheriffs protect the lives and property of citizens.
“As the need for building stronger-private law enforcement partnerships in this country continues to escalate, programs such as this continue to grow in importance,” said Gomez. “I encourage every citizen receiving a membership appeal to consider joining forces with us by becoming an Associate Member. It is a valuable investment in our future.”
Founded in 1874, the Sheriff’s Association of Texas is a 501 ( c ) (3) non-profit professional and educational organization dedicated to the preservation of peace and the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of Texas. Steve M. Westbrook serves as the Executive Director. Headquarters are located in Austin. The Sheriff’s Association of Texas does not make solicitations by telephone. If you receive a phone call from someone who uses the Sheriff’s Association of Texas name, report it to your local sheriff or county/district attorney.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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