Odem was traveling south on Farm-to-Market 136 and steered the 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee she was driving into the oncoming path of a tow truck driven by James Ernest Schaalman of Corpus Christi.
The Jeep flipped onto its roof and caught fire with Odom inside.
Adriel Brown of Refugio was one of the first motorists to come upon the scene.
“The car was on fire when I got there,” Brown said. “The fire was bad but not real bad and I called 911. We didn’t have a fire extinguisher or a bucket or anything to put the fire out with. It got bad real fast.”
By the time the Bayside Volunteer Fire Department arrived, the vehicle was fully engulfed.
DPS Trooper Carl Curry, who investigated the accident, said the reason why Odom veered out of her lane into oncoming traffic is unknown at this time.
The only skid marks at the scene of the accident were made by the Apollo Tow Truck which skidded across into the southbound lane and struck a guardrail. The impact was so hard, the front driver’s side wheel was knocked off.
Schaalman suffered knee injuries.
JP1 Diane Dupnik of Aransas County pronounced Odom dead at 8:40 a.m. at the scene. FM 136 was closed for approximately four hours.
Tuesday morning, TxDOT workers closed FM 136 for more than one hour to allow Curry and DPS Investigator Payton Sherrer, out of Sinton, to construct a forensic map of the accident. The officers used instruments to measure skid marks and record measurements.
This isn’t the only tragedy to strike Odom’s family.
“The family is also grieving the loss of her sister’s husband who died last week,” Curry said. “We’re giving the family time to grieve before delving into the investigation.”
Guard rails were added around the curves at the sloughs within the last year. At least one sideswipe accident was reported since the rails were added.
“There’s no room for a mistake in that curve,” Brown said.
The sloughs are a popular fishing spot. Two fishermen were in a kayak near the crash site.
Curry said the men witnessed the accident.