Our Boys In Blue

Here’s an article from KVIA about the efforts of our local police:

Nine emergency phone calls were made and two rescue operations were completed by authorities. It was not enough to save the lives of two young truck drivers who drove straight to their deaths.

The crash happened in the early morning hours of December 21, 2017. Patrick Van Fossen, 24, was behind the wheel of his semi-truck. He was recently engaged to 24-year-old Kaserie Paredes, resting in the truck’s back cabin. The young couple were truck drivers working as a team.

. . .

A review of hundreds of pages of 911 call logs and emergency calls placed with authorities, the ABC-7 I-Team learned nine out of the eleven 911 calls placed to authorities were made before the crash happened.

Calls started pouring into emergency dispatch once again at 2:06 am on December 21, 2017. “A construction vehicle that is coming out of the construction zone,” said a caller identified as Daniel S. when asked what his emergency was.

Ten minutes later at 2:16 a.m., caller Jesus L. warned dispatch “somebody is gonna get killed right there.”

. . .

At 2:21 a.m., a police unit was dispatched to the area, but the officer was directed to go to Westbound I-10, the wrong side of the highway. That search came back empty.

I have to think that the police were not very diligent in their work that evening.

According to call log records, at the time of Jean Beck’s second 911 call, it had been more than an hour since the first 911 call was placed to report the equipment. Three units had been dispatched during that time and two searches conducted.

Kerry Paredes told ABC-7 she keeps asking herself why it took so long for police to arrive and find the highway hazard. “I have questioned the police response time from the beginning, you know, the police, and not that they’ve been unkind, but one of the things they volunteered to me is that they got the wrong directions from somebody,” said Kerry.

At 2:36 a.m., Jean Beck called 911 a third time, warning dispatchers of the danger. “Is somebody going to get someone out here? This is a very dangerous situation,” Beck is heard saying in the call.

Within minutes, the highway hazard claimed two lives.

Jeez, don’t you think that if nine calls were made about an obstacle on the freeway, there might have been an obstacle on the freeway? And don’t you think that the police could have looked for it until they found it, instead of pulling a Sergeant Schultz?

Did you know that the El Paso Police Department is a department of the City of El Paso? See, it’s right there in the name. The El Paso Police DEPARTMENT. But the police department seems to be kind of autonomous. They don’t answer to anyone, despite a long record of less-than-stellar service to the community.

The City of El Paso is poorly managed.

2 comments

  1. Why doesn’t the story tell us exactly where this occurred? Far east El Paso is one thing, but far east El Paso County is another? Was this within the City Limits, or outside? And, since it did involve construction equipment, where was TxDOT?

  2. One of my family members worked for dispatch for some time. That type of job is already quite stressful, and the work environment is incredibly toxic. I read the details of the crash in the link you included…it’s just tragic that there were so many opportunities to save these lives, and absolutely none occurred.

    If the dispatchers would have gotten it right the first time, EPPD could have blocked off that lane before this all happened. It seems to me that the error was with the dispatchers.

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