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Lost tire smashes into vehicle, kills driver on I-45 Pierce Elevated

HOUSTON – A man was killed Tuesday when a wheel flew off a pickup truck and struck his SUV on the I-45 Gulf Freeway, police said.

Investigators said the red Ford F-150 was southbound on I-45 along the Pierce Elevated when its front left wheel broke off, bounced into the northbound lanes and hit a red Ford Explorer.

The driver of the Explorer died at the scene.

Family identified the victim as 36-year-old Abdias Leyva.

Leyva’s cousin, Iris Trahan, told KPRC2 that Leyva, who was a husband and father, had just dropped off his father at work and was driving home when the incident happened.

"He dropped off his dad then he was going to come home. And he was going to take his wife to work and then from there, go to work," Trahan said.

Leyva’s dad said he did not try to understand why this happened. He said no family can be prepared or change what happened. He said God has a purpose for every life.

He and the rest of his family tried to figure out how to pay for a funeral and to possibly send his son, who he said was an American citizen, to Mexico for burial.

The pickup driver was questioned and released.

The northbound lanes of Gulf Freeway were closed as police investigated, but reopened just before 9 a.m.

The investigation will continue.

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