Man jumps off freeway to avoid being hit by 18-wheeler involved in double fatal crash, authorities say

HOUSTON – Two people were killed, and two children and a man were injured Friday morning after a five-car accident on Interstate 45 North Freeway.

The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. on the North Freeway at Rankin Road in north Houston, authorities said.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Alvarado, 22, was driving a red SUV and towing a black trailer southbound on the North Freeway when he got a flat tire.

Alvarado told authorities he was trying to exit the freeway when a gray Mazda 3 sedan crashed into the SUV’s trailer and ended up in the sideways position on the freeway, deputies said.

Authorities said the driver of a gray Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck -- later identified as Tyler Vail, 29, -- came upon the crash and tried to avoid the wreckage, but he lost control of the vehicle, crashed into the wall and came to a stop in the middle of the freeway.

Deputies said that at some point after the crashes, the driver of the Mazda and the SUV’s passenger got out of their vehicles.

Abdullah Baidas, 23, was driving a white Chevrolet SUV, saw the accidents and stopped to help, but at that point, the driver of an Amazon 18-wheeler, Cody Munson, 56, -- who had swerved to try and avoid the crash -- hit all the vehicles involved and the two people who were in the road, authorities said.

Both the driver of the Mazda and the SUV’s passenger were pinned under the 18-wheeler. They were declared dead at the scene. Deputies initially thought the driver of the Mazda was a woman, but later clarified to say the driver was a man.

Authorities said Baidas jumped off the freeway to avoid being hit. He fell about 15 feet and suffered some injuries. He was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK, deputies said.

Authorities said there were two children under 4 years old inside the red SUV. They were properly restrained and only suffered minor injuries, deputies said. Both children were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.

The woman who was killed is believed to be the children’s mother, authorities said. Police have not yet identified the victims.

Authorities said the roads were slick but there was no heavy rain at the time of the accident. None of the drivers appeared to be impaired, deputies said.

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