Robert Victorino Jr. and Maria Botello Victorino Die in Ward County Accident

Early Monday’s traffic accident in Ward County claimed the lives of two Alpine residents and injured four others.

The accident occurred at around 12:15 a.m. when a 1989 Chevrolet Suburban carrying five people missed the exit at Interstate 20 near mile marker 81 in Ward County. The driver, Robert Victorino, 59, of Alpine, backed the vehicle in order to make the exit when a westbound 2011 Volvo tractor/trailer rig slammed into the Suburban’s back.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, the tractor trailer’s driver, Jose Luis Garcia of Santa Ana, Calif., did not see the Suburban over the hill and attempted to avoid the vehicle when he saw it.

Two passengers of the Suburban were killed in the collision. Robert Victorino Jr., 18, of Alpine, was pronounced dead on the scene. Maria Botello Victorino, 41, of Alpine, was taken to Ward Memorial Hospital in Monahans where she died later.

Victorino is listed in ‘fair’ condition at Medical Center Hospital. The two other passengers, Brandon Victorino, 12, was taken to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, and Ashley Victorino, 18, was transported to Odessa Regional Medical Center. No further information is available on the victims’ conditions.

Garcia was not injured. His passenger, Alejandro Garcia Paz, 48, of Victorville, Calif., was sent to Ward Memorial Hospital where he was later released.