Tire falls off Jeep, causes massive pile-up near downtown

HOUSTON – The road is clear now, but it was a huge mess hours ago and the parking lot of a nearby gas station was full of wrecked cars.

Lots of weird things happen on Houston roads, but a runaway tire caused a crazy sight for drivers traveling on I-45 near Memorial Drive Wednesday around 10:30 p.m.

“It was insane,” said Ariana Ricciardi, one of the drivers involved. “In about three minutes, there were at least 20 cars on the side of the road. It was just insane. We were walking on the freeway and every three seconds you hear another tire just popping.”

Ricciardi was the first driver to hit the tire, and she said her vehicle got the worst of the damage.

"My car is completely done for,” Ricciardi said. “Everyone else, I think, luckily only got spare tires but unfortunately, my car was the first one to hit the tire, so (I’m) car shopping now."

An estimated 17 cars were involved in a crash after police said a Jeep lost a tire, creating mayhem on the interstate near downtown. 

"All of a sudden there was something in the middle of the road," said Harvey Caballero, another driver involved. "I thought I hit something, like a person. It turned out to be a tire. There were about 15 other cars parked in the right-hand side and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

Many drivers had flat tires, and some with front end damage.

There is no word on what caused the tire to come off. No one was injured during the incident.

About the Authors: