Man accused of driving wrong way charged after man killed, passenger hospitalized in crash

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

Juan Almanza was charged after a crash on the North Freeway that left a man dead and his passenger injured on Monday.

HOUSTON - A man was killed and his passenger injured after a wrong-way driver crashed into their vehicle near downtown.

Police said the accident happened around 2:20 a.m. Monday on I-45 southbound just south of I-10.

A man, identified as Juan David Almanza, 36, drove a white pickup and entered the Gulf Freeway going northbound in the southbound lanes when he hit an oncoming white Mustang, authorities said. 

Police said the man driving the Mustang was killed in the crash and the woman riding with him was transported to a hospital with serious injuries. 

Their identities have not been released.

READ: What to do when faced with wrong-way driver

All southbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway were shut down until around 6:30 a.m., causing some traffic issues for early commuters.

Officers said Almanza was intoxicated at the time of the crash and faces a charge of intoxication manslaughter.

It was the third deadly wrong-way crash this weekend.

Three people were killed early Saturday morning after Harris County deputies said a wrong-way driver was headed southeast in the northwestern lanes of Highway 249 in northwest Harris County.

Two people were killed early Saturday in Pasadena due to a collision involving after a wrong-way driver in the westbound lanes of Highway 225.

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