Officials Release Name of Driver in Fiery, Deadly Crash

Published 05/06 2014 10:20AM

Updated 05/06 2014 08:23PM

LUBBOCK, TX – The Texas Department of Public Safety released the name of one driver in Monday’s early morning crash and fire that killed three people. On Tuesday morning DPS said Benjamin Lee Ocanas, 39, was driving a semi-truck at the intersection of F.M. 41 and Highway 87.

According to eyewitnesses a van pulled out in front of Ocanas’ truck. DPS said the truck was carrying highly-flammable ethanol which burned so hot that it melted the highway’s pavement.

Ocanas continues to recover from his injuries at University Medical Center.

The names of the three victims in the van have not been released, and DPS said Tuesday that the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s office was still working to confirm their identities.

While the names of the victims have not been released, KAMC reporter Christian Henson reached out the organization they represented. The organization is called LINK or Liberty in North Korea. LINK is an activist organization to rescue refugees and promote better conditions for the people of North Korea.

LINK released the following statement Tuesday morning:

“Earlier today we were devastated to learn of a fatal motor vehicle accident that we believe involved individuals affiliated with Liberty in North Korea. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Liberty in North Korea is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing North Korean refugees to freedom. Because this incident remains an open Police investigation, I am unable to provide additional details. We are providing any assistance we can to local law enforcement.”

LINK later released the following statement on their Facebook page:

"On Monday morning, our LiNK family suffered a tragic loss. Three nomads from the Heartland team lost their lives in a fatal car accident in Lubbock, Texas. We are honored to have known these selfless individuals who touched so many lives. We have cancelled the rest of this tour so our team can be together during this time. Their families have our full support. Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers."

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