All southbound lanes of North Freeway reopen after fiery, fatal crash

HOUSTON – One person was killed in a fiery chain-reaction crash that has left the road scorched and had all southbound lanes of the North Freeway shut down in the area. 

According to police, the incident happened around 1:15 a.m. Thursday on the North Freeway near East Tidwell Road in the in the Northside area.

Police said the driver of a vehicle traveling southbound on the freeway somehow lost control of the car and slammed into a retaining wall.

The accident caused a chain reaction and a second vehicle slammed into the first vehicle and spun around before fleeing the scene, authorities said. 

As the second vehicle left, the first vehicle started to catch fire and was hit by a third vehicle on the side and both vehicles were fully engulfed by the flames, police said. 

Officers said the driver of the first car was killed in the crash, but they could not recognize the gender or race due to severe burns. Witnesses told them it was a man, police said.

The driver of the third vehicle, Sam, was able to escape the fire. He said there was no way to avoid the victim's car before the crash.

"As we collided, flames burst into the air, so I was just trying to get out of my vehicle and to safety. I really didn’t have time to see nothing else, because it was flaming already," Sam said. "I'm really traumatized because a life was (taken). It's just sad. My condolences to his family."

All lanes have since reopened. 

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash and if alcohol or speed may have been a factor.

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