Two Presidio students killed in Ojinaga traffic accident
PRESIDIO, OJINAGA – Two teen-age sisters who were students in Presidio died following a traffic accident last Thursday evening in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, according to El Sol de Ojinaga. Two young Ojinaga men also died in the accident and two men survived the crash.
Marlen Ramos Barraza, 15, died at the accident scene, and her 17-year-old sister, María Lynette Ramos Barraza, died a short time later, according to the Ojinaga newspaper website.
A group of five young persons were in a blue 1994 Neon compact car that caught fire after apparently crashing into the back tire of a dump truck at about 7:40pm (Ojinaga time) Thursday, March 17.
Marlen Ramos Barraza and Fernando Chávez Jaquez, 18, died at the accident scene. María Lynette Ramos Barraza was transported by ambulance to the hospital but went into shock and later died of heart failure.
Marlen Ramos Barraza was a Lucy Rede Franco Middle School student and María Lynette Ramos Barraza was a senior at Presidio High School.
Reports indicate that the backlights of the truck weren’t working.
Narciso Ramos, the girls’ father, is an Ojinaga volunteer firefighter and responded to the accident.
The deaths came as a shock to the close-knit Presidio campuses.
“In areas as isolated as West Texas, people have learned that the only way we survive is together,” Presidio ISD Superintendent Dennis McEntire said this week. “If we do not do it ourselves it does not get done. This creates a sense of community that is more like family. Presidio has lost two of the family, Maria and Marlen Ramos. When this happens with our young people it is even more tragic and hard to work through. When it happens in the same family it becomes almost unimaginable. Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and family of these two exceptional young people.”
“We had some of our administration attend both the Rosary and the funeral and I think that was very comforting to the girls’ family and their closest friends,” added Presidio High School Counselor John Ferguson. “We let students know we had grief counselors on hand. Very few students were visibly upset, mainly, I think, because they already had a chance to grieve at the Rosary and funeral.”
Presidio High School is also collecting an offering to the family. Those wishing to help may contact Ruby Tavarez at Presidio High School.
One of the other two occupants in the car survived the crash, the driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Orbil Aaron Ortega Bejarano.
The other passenger, Enrique Espinoza Vargas was transferred to a Chihuahua City hospital due to the injuries sustained during the accident, but he died on Friday.
The driver of the tractor-trailer rig, Carlos Benavides Olivas, 30, escaped unharmed.
(Translation by MIRIAM HALPERN CARDONA. Additional reporting by STERRY BUTCHER)