Two killed in multi-vehicle wreck on North Beltway

By Phil Archer - Reporter, Irika Sargent

HOUSTON - Two people were killed in an accident involving four vehicles Friday morning in northwest Harris County.

It happened shortly after 11 a.m. at the North Sam Houston Parkway westbound at the Veterans Memorial Toll Plaza.

A trash container truck never slowed down going through the toll gate, then it sideswiped a pickup truck and hit a gold car, before slamming into another pickup, pushing it 100 feet before it burst into flames.

Brian McKinney was working nearby when he and his crew heard the crash. He shot video on his cell phone.

"Just heard a large crash and everybody started coming out to see and saw two vehicles mangled up before they were completely engulfed in fire and it started burning on fire. Several hundred feet behind the truck and several hundred feet in back and just caught everything on fire," McKinney told Local 2.

The woman driving the pickup was trapped in the burning wreckage and killed. The trash truck driver also died.

The Precinct 4 dispatcher received a call from a motorist shortly before the wreck who reported a truck traveling on the Beltway near Aldine-Westfield Rd appeared to be out of control.

Investigators are trying to determine if that was the same truck that caused the crash, and if the trash truck driver was incapacitated by a heart attack or some other medical problem before the crash.

"At this point we don't. Still in preliminary stage. At this point we don't know what caused it," said  Capt Ronnie Glaze with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office.

That small gold car that the big truck hit was driven by an off-duty Precinct 4 deputy with his wife.

"They were coming up to the plaza, slowing down to go through the tag lane and that's when they were struck," Capt. Glaze said.

She was trapped in the wreckage for a time. She and her husband were both rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital.  The deputy's wife's injuries are serious, while his injuries are said to be minor.

Two men riding in the first pickup received minor injuries.

Police are not releasing the names or conditions of the four people who were injured.

The westbound lanes of the Beltway were closed between I-45 and Ella Blvd for several hours Friday afternoon while the wreckage was being cleared.

Harris County Toll Road officials said one of the center toll road lanes where the crash happened will be closed for the rest of the weekend as crews make repairs.

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