Father killed, children injured in fiery big rig crash in north Houston

HOUSTON – A father was killed and two children were injured Friday in a fiery crash involving a big rig along I-45 south near the Aldine Bender exit in north Houston.

According to police, the father was driving an 18-wheeler moving truck when he lost control, ran off the road and hit a guardrail before slamming into a pillar. The United Van Lines trailer burst into flames.

A 5-year-old boy, who was ejected from the big rig, pulled his younger brother from the wreckage, officials said.

A nearby hotel worker saw the crash and ran to help, according to police. The employee, Dhaval Shah, said that the 5-year-old was running around as the toddler laid on the road.

"And I got the little kid, and then I saw another infant by the fire, and another gentleman and I went over there and we just picked them up," he said.

Shah said they stayed and held the children until help arrived.  

Sgt. James Roque said the 5-year-old is a hero, for having saved his little brother from the burning 18-wheeler.

"He’s a trooper.  He was ejected. He was sitting down, talking to us," Roque said. "He was giving us everyone’s name and he was asking about his father. He helped us out a lot to piece together a lot of things we would not have known."

Both children were taken to the hospital. The toddler is dealing with severe burns, while the 5-year-old suffered minor injuries, police said.

The mother was driving an RV ahead of her family and was not hurt. Police said she was not aware of the crash until hours later.

The family was in the process of moving to Galveston when the crash happened, investigators said.