Oilfield Wife Seeks Change After Death of Husband 12/23/13
CBS 7 News
December 23, 2013
MIDLAND-A Midland wife is devastated after the death of her husband. Now she’s started a petition to ask oilfield companies to make safety changes to prevent falling asleep at the wheel.
Jenna Cox, her 18-month-old daughter and 7-month-old son will celebrate this Christmas without their father.
"I'm constantly waiting for him, sometimes it just doesn't feel real,” Jenna Cox said, tears streaming down her cheek.
24-Year-Old Justin Cox was driving home on 1788 in his Mathena work pickup truck on December 9th around 6:00 a.m. after a shift. That's when DPS says his truck hit one 18-wheeler and then another. Justin Cox died at the scene. DPS says fatigue was a factor in the crash.
"A lot of these oilfield men don’t feel it out their while they’re working,” Jenna Cox said in her Midland home, where a collage of pictures and her late husband’s Patriots baseball cap now hang on the wall. “The sleep could come in a minute, in a second, from one blink of an eye.”
For people who work in or serve the oil industry, they know the long hours that workers put in each day.
"They are working more hours, with not enough sleep, being overworked, high levels of stress, substance abuse, all that can make an employee’s level of fatigue go up,” said Fuller Safety and Compliance’s Compliance Specialist Juan Alcantar.
Cox started a petition to honor her now-late husband, asking oil companies to provide a designated driver for those working long shifts, or hire a shuttle for crews.
"I knew it was him." sot / tearful "Nobody should lose their loved one to an accident that could've been prevented."
We checked with state and federal officials, and currently there are no guidelines per day or per week on how many hours employees are allowed to work. It’s as many as the company will give them. You can sign the petition at this link.