The massive wreck was actually two accidents. The first crash happened around 6:30 PM Monday near mile marker 123 of Interstate 20.
Midland Police and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers believe reduced visibilities from a dust storm sparked the initial crash.
Texas D.P.S. troopers say a fuel tanker rear-ended a Ford F-350 pickup truck that had slowed down due to poor visibility in the blowing dust in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20.
The fuel tanker jackknifed and landed on a top of a semi-truck cab.
At the same time that the initial crash occurred in the westbound lanes, several other vehicles collided in the eastbound lanes of interstate 20.
"The dirt was blowing and apparently there was zero visibility at that point when the crash occurred, causing two different crashes -- one going westbound and one going eastbound," said Department of Public Safety trooper Molly Hernandez.
Midland Police say 17 vehicles in both directions of travel were soon involved in the crash, with fuel also spilling onto the roadway.
Five of the vehicles involved were tractor-trailers.
Two people died in the crash. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene while another died at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Molly Hernandez told Big 2 crews at the scene around 1:15 AM Tuesday that the victims were identified as Felix Vargas and Jesus Zapata.
Vargas, 20, and Zapata, 50, were stuck inside a pickup truck that was sandwiched between two 18-wheelers during the crash. Both men were from Odessa.
Firefighters had to extricate both men from the pickup truck.
Next-of-kin have been notified of the deaths of Vargas and Zapata.
Three other victims -- Noel Suchell, Amanda Shaw and Rosa Ironside-- were rushed to Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland with serious injuries after the crash.
Suchell, Shaw and Ironside were all in vehicles that smacked into the wreckage after the initial crash.
Department of Public Safety troopers closed a 5 mile stretch of Interstate 20 between East Loop 338 in Odessa and F.M. 1788 in Midland County for about 10 hours Monday evening as they worked to clean up the wreck.
Interstate traffic was being diverted onto the service roads between the two exits Monday evening.
Interstate 20 was completely re-opened to traffic Tuesday morning, after being closed for more than 10 hours.