El Paso

8 deaths reported on same private road since 2014

Dangerous road in Far East El Paso

EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7 has reported on eight deaths on the same private road since 2014. Most recently, three teenagers died after a fiery wreck three days before New Year's Day. 

The road, which was once referred to as "Jobe Road", is near Windmere and Cherrington Street.

The road is in County Commissioner Vince Perez's district. He said it was referred to as Jobe Road, because at the time the company Jobe Materials owned it. In 2016, ABC-7 learned the company CEMEX took ownership. Tuesday, Perez told ABC-7 the road is now owned by the company GCC. ABC-7 reached out to the company and is still waiting to hear back. 

ABC-7's archives show in May of 2014, 25-year-old Laura Hurtado died after her car rolled over on the road. Investigators say she was driving south on John Hayes when she hit a dip, causing her car to go airborne. 

Then on January 4, 2016, 3 people died after their car crashed on the same road. The sheriff's office said 66-year-old Johnny Borrego and 59-year-old Ivan Guerrero died at the scene. 58-year-old Ruben Betancourt Ramirez died at the hospital. The sheriff's office said the truck they were in reportedly kept going straight instead of curving with the road, and eventually ended up in an embankment.

Then, in May of 2016 an 18-year-old girl who attended Americas High School was killed after the car she was riding in also flipped over an embankment. Friends told ABC-7 a group was driving home from the movies and the driver was speeding because he didn't want to miss curfew. Deputies say the 18-year-old  killed wasn't wearing a seat belt. 

Just this past Friday, friends and family told ABC-7 3 Montwood High School students were killed. The cause of the crash is still being investigated. 

The road has no street lights or a speed limit sign. There are also sharp turns. Perez said because it is privately owned, officials are unable to intervene. 

"We can urge them to in the interest of public safety to put signage or gates, but ultimately this road was built for the company for their trucks to access," Perez said. 

Perez said in 2016 the county reached out to the CEMEX, who owned the road at the time. 

He said since then, a sign, which to his knowledge had not been previously there, was put up warning drivers the road was private. A gate is also up. But the gate remains open. Tuesday, ABC-7 saw at least a dozen drivers cutting through the road, ignoring the "No Trespassing" sign. 

After Friday's wreck, Perez said the county will try reaching out to GCC. 

"We will urge the company again to look into this, I'm sure the company has already taking steps with out us having to request that," Perez said. "Either closing access to the road or putting up additional signage." 

Perez said they will continue warning residents about the dangers of using the road. 

"To inform the public as much as possible," Perez said. "These are very difficult problems that aren't easy to solve. If this were a public roadway and it was just a matter of bringing it up to standard, or code, or if lighting were an issue, that's something that county government can easily come in and address. The issue is there's a clash between private property rights and roads that aren't up to public standard, nor do they have to be." 


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