The tire flew over the concrete barrier in the highway’s median and struck the mother as she was driving her GMC SUV. She was killed instantly, while her 17-year-old son, who was asleep in the front passenger seat, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
The accident happened around 7 p.m. on the Eastex Freeway 30 miles northeast of Houston and caused a three-hour shutdown of the road. Investigators said after the tire struck the mother’s windshield, her car rear-ended another car driven by a man with his three children as passengers. The family was taken to a local hospital and are reported to be in serious but stable condition.
KTRK reported that investigators have not said what caused the tire and wheel to come off the Dodge truck.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned it’s not uncommon to find cars on the road that are running with one or more tires either over-inflated or under-inflated. When tires are not kept at the recommended pressure, it can lead to rapid wear and blowouts, which cause accidents.
The NHTSA recommends checking tire pressure monthly, not ignoring tire pressure warnings from your vehicle and to regularly rotate tires to protect their tread.