ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Samantha Ravago is an Employee at Garely’s Mexican Restaurant, not far from where Odessa Police say a 24-year-old Louisiana man was killed trying to cross Highway 191 on foot. She says based on what she’s seen in Odessa, the death is tragic but not surprising.

“You see people that don’t pay attention while they try to cross the road. They think they’re going to make it right on time, and sometimes that’s not the case,” said Samantha.

But Samantha isn’t the only West Texan thinking about what happened on Highway 191. DPS Sgt. Steven Blanco has been on the job in the Permian Basin for roughly two decades and desperately wants to see a decrease in both pedestrian and driver deaths.

“Many times the pedestrian is in the roadway and the vehicles on the roadway have the right of way. The pedestrian needs to try and find a crosswalk,” said Sgt. Blanco.

But Sgt. Blanco says local pedestrians need to keep where they live in mind and use even more caution.

“Out here in the Permian Basin, there’s a ‘time is money’-type attitude, where a lot of our drivers in the oil field push themselves, the companies push the drivers to get the next load, to make it the job site, and in turn, some of those drivers take unnecessary risks,” said Sg.t Blanco.

Sergeant Blanco says an increase in courteous drivers, cautious pedestrians, and both parties putting down their cellphones would make a big difference in local road safety, as well as the community taking jaywalking more seriously.

“They are breaking the law. They are jaywalking, and if they are involved in a crash, they are the contributing factor to the crash,” said Sgt. Blanco.