One victim in deadly wrong-way crash identified, witness describes the scene

KDBC
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 12:37am

A pastor from Las Cruces has been identified as the man El Paso County Sheriff's Deputies say was killed by a wrong-way driver on I-10 east near Vinton on Monday night.

Thirty year-old Josh Allen's father posted a message on Facebook Tuesday confirming that it was his son that died in the accident.

Allen was a pastor at Grace Bible Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, a man in a grey BMW X3 SUV was driving the wrong-way on I-10 east near Vinton on Monday night, when he crashed head-on into Allen, who was driving a maroon Toyota Sienna minivan.

Both Allen and the wrong-way driver were killed.

Phil Berg from Las Cruces says he and his girlfriend were driving to dinner in El Paso when the crash happened, and were one of the first ones on the scene of the accident

Berg says they tried to help Allen but they were too late.

"The entire driver side was completely crushed in, like if a bulldozer had T-boned it," he said. "We went around to the other side and you just saw blood and stuff dripping out of the doors. You could tell that nobody survived that crash."

The Texas Department of Transportation says the Texas Transportation Institute and Texas A&M are working on a study to try and figure out why people get on the freeway the wrong way and come up with ways to try and prevent it, like a loud alarm or horn.

For now, TX DOT has large, red warning signs they say are hard to miss.

"They're retro reflective signs - that means you can see them at night. They're good size, and they'll tell you you're going the wrong way. Do not enter," said Blanca Del Valle, the spokesperson for TXDOT.

Berg says the "carnage" of Monday night's accident was a reminder to him to try and be more alert on the roads.

"Maybe if I had left my house a little earlier, like just say 10 seconds, maybe I made a green light, it could have been me," he said.

The wrong-way driver has not yet been identified and authorities have not said where he got on the freeway headed in the wrong direction.

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