With more than 635,000 individuals working for the Census Bureau’s non-response follow-up operations (NRFU), there are statistically going to be some accidents that will occur in the field. However, it is tragic that one occurred on the first day of NRFU in Texas. To the Census Bureau employees who are reading this, please make sure that you wear your seatbelts, don’t become distracted while driving, and ensure that all drivers whom you ride with are competent, capable, and 100% drug/alcohol free when they are behind the wheel:
Area census workers killed in crash near MidlandBy Adam D. Young | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Story last updated at 5/1/2010 – 5:36 pm
Two South Plains residents who worked for the 2010 Census died in a two-vehicle crash Friday in Midland County.
The census workers were en route to Lubbock after visiting the census regional office in Midland when the 2003 Dodge pickup they were in failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a tractor-trailer about 12:25 p.m. Friday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety in Midland.
The pickup’s driver, 67-year-old Merlyn David Millsap of Levelland, died Friday at Midland Memorial Hospital. His passenger, 31-year-old Sara Elizabeth Pierce of Brownfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families,” Dallas-area Census spokeswoman Kimberly Murphy said in a statement Saturday. “This is a horrible tragedy for all of us.”
Millsap and Pierce had been in Midland to pick census materials to deliver to Lubbock, Murphy said in the statement. Census Bureau workers retrieved the census materials Friday from the accident scene.
Investigators said Millsap was about four miles north of Midland on State Highway 349, the newly opened Tom and Nadine Craddick Highway, when he failed to stop at a stop sign and his vehicle was hit in the side by the tractor-trailer that was traveling northwest on State Highway 158. The driver of the tractor-trailer, 40-year-old Heriberto Jaquez of Midland, Saturday was in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries at Midland Memorial Hospital.
All of the vehicles’ occupants were wearing seat belts.
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