Three Sierra Blanca detention officers die in rollover accident


Accident leaves Sierra Blanca residents with a sense of great loss


Three detention officers who worked at the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca were killed in an early morning rollover accident last Thursday.

A group of five detention officers traveling in a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban had apparently just finished their shift and were en route to El Paso where two of the officers lived. According to Texas Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Elizabeth Barney, the driver, George Gomez Olague, 20, attempted to pass a vehicle in the right lane, and that’s when Gomez-Olague lost control of the vehicle.

Ms. Barney said the accident took place at 6:40 a.m. near mile marker 104 in Sierra Blanca. The Suburban was traveling west on I-10, and the vehicle made an unsafe lane change while attempting to pass another vehicle in the right lane. The Suburban exited off the highway onto the south improved shoulder, and the driver was unable to navigate through the center median back to the highway, and the vehicle began to roll. She added that four of the occupants were ejected because they were either not wearing a seat belt or were wearing a seat belt incorrectly.

Christopher Siera, 25, and Gomez Olague were  transported to Del Sol Medical Center with head and arm injuries.

Taylor McKenzi, 23, Cibolo, Texas, was pronounced dead at 7:10 a.m. He died from trauma to his skull.

Alan Eduardo Peña, 20, El Paso, was pronounced dead at 7:01 a.m. by Hudspeth County Justice of the Peace 1 Julie Sanchez. He died from  injuries to his skull.

Rudy Arana, 25, El Paso, was pronounced dead at 7:13 a.m. He died from trauma to his head and arms.

“I don’t know what’s going to take place in this case, but the driver is still alive, and if there’s any charges [filed], we’ll know when the fatality report is completed in about 30 days,” Ms. Barney said. “If any charges are filed, they will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.”

The Advocate called Del Sol Medical Center on Wednesday, and the attendant said the hospital had no patient  listed by the name of George Gomez Olague.



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