Candlelight Vigil Held One Year Later For Oilfield Workers Killed in Wreck 01/15/14
January 15, 2014
Midland - One year after a tragic accident took the lives of three oilfield workers, family members of those killed met for the first time at a candlelight vigil to help raise awareness to the dangerous roads. Francisco Ortega, Joshua Stearns and Manuel Loera all passed away after a head-on collision on Farm to Market road 1788.
FM 1788 looks a lot different now than it did just one year ago. After the accident family members pushed to get the road re-striped to help prevent accidents like this from happening again.
“They immediately paved this road, all I asked for was striping and I got paving as well and they even did a speed limit monitor on the other end by I-20,” said Stearns mother Melissa Kaminsky.
Exactly one year later, families who lost their sons in the same accident met for the first time. “They left a note on the cross that we found. I couldn’t read it, but we finally made out the phone number and I got brave one day. I called and realized that it was his mother,” said Kaminsky.
Families say the candlelight vigil served as closure to their mourning process and a beginning to their healing.
“I appreciate all of y’all coming, it means so much to me to be able to get together with Frank’s mother, I think this will be a good part of our healing,” said Kaminsky.
So now, with new lines painted, a paved road and warning signs placed. The family hopes these changes can now save others who work long hours and leaves the Permian Basin with this plea.
“Like I would always tell my son, you know if you don’t think you can drive, just stay there, don’t drive,” said Ortega’s mother Margie Carrasco.