HOUSTON — A 22-month-old boy, who was driving an SUV with his twin sister, mother and grandmother, was crushed when a concrete mixer slammed off a Texas overpass and landed on his family’s vehicle.
The incident happened just before 2:30 p.m. Friday in eastern Harris County, where people who worked nearby were stunned to see the freak incident happen before their very eyes.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the concrete mixer was heading south on Beltway 8 East when it began to rain in the area. The truck then lost control of the slippery roadway, crashed through a barrier wall and flew off the overpass and toward the frontage below.
In a tragic moment, the heavy truck landed on an SUV driving through the intersection.
That moment was captured on a security camera at the nearby workplace.
“Holy (expletive)! Holy (expletive)!” hears one of the workers say in video obtained by Houston’s KTRK-TV.
“It landed on a car! It landed on a car!” says another employee.
Several people in that company ran to the wreckage to do everything they could to save the people inside.
“We tried to grab the baby first, first and foremost. She was a little bit stuck and I reached back, (but) the front seat was a little hard to get. And he just starts tugging at the front seat. I started on pulling the car seat to get the baby out and we were able to get her out before she got stuck,” said Raymond Romo, trying to help.
Lieutenant Simon Cheng, who works with the sheriff’s vehicle crime division, said a 54-year-old woman was in the driver’s seat and a 22-year-old in the front passenger seat. There was a boy and a girl in the back seat.
The women and girl managed to escape, but witnesses said the boy was trapped.
“We’ve tried to do what we can,” said Joe Tijerina, another witness who tried to save the family. “Everyone had to get together to see if we could move the (concrete mixer) anyway. We tried an 18-wheeler to put a chain on it, to pull it off. We had a big four-by-four double truck I mean it just didn’t budge.”
Despite all efforts, the boy died on the spot. The women and the girl suffered only minor injuries and were taken to hospital.
A 36-year-old woman driving the concrete mixer also suffered minor injuries. She told officers her vehicle started skidding just before the truck went off the overpass.
The truck driver also showed no signs of intoxication at the time and the vehicle’s tires showed no signs of malfunction, Cheng said.
The tow and hazard teams spent much of the afternoon removing the wreckage and cleaning up the spilled fuel.
A crash reconstruction team, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office were also called to the scene as part of the investigation.
Cheng said he did not immediately see a possible reason to support the charges.
“I called my wife and told her to give my kids a hug and a kiss,” Romo added, “give them a hug and a kiss because you never know.”
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