Freeway reopens following fatal accident

November 5, 2009 9:51:00 AM PST
The morning drive to work turned into a long one for many drivers. A deadly crash closed down part of the Southwest Freeway for more than five hours.That crash happened just before 3am in the outbound lanes of the Southwest Freeway just under the Beltway. A car slammed into an 18-wheeler, killing the driver of the car. The driver of the 18-wheeler is OK.

According to police, the truck driver says the car veered into his lane. The two collided and the car went into some barrels. The truck driver, trying to avoid him, crashed himself and it led to one man's' death.

As you can imagine, this caused a huge backup along the freeway and the feeder road.

"It's a really big inconvenience," said driver Timmie Nwaudobi.

The traffic tie-up was more than even the average Houston commuter could handle.

"I'm gonna get really late. I was supposed to be to work at 8," said frustrated driver Jenny Joya.

That was the story from driver after driver.

"I'm over an hour late already," said another driver with whom we spoke.

As a result of the accident, the big rig rolled and went flying into two pieces. The cab and trailer separated, with the trailer laying over part of the HOV lane. The crash killed the car's driver.

"You can probably see from the footage, but the car was pretty much, pretty much mangled up," said Lt. Heather Morris with the Houston Police Department.

The 59 southbound lanes were blocked for more than five hours during the investigation and the feeder roads were clogged for even longer, not clearing until well after the traditional morning rush.

"I was dropping my daughter off, but I was worried about being late. I took some back roads to divert from the traffic," said Nwaudobi.

"Was everybody else on the back roads, too?" we asked.

"Yes," she replied.

It was enough to get some drivers to take a break from the roads for a bit.

"I'm gonna head to Sugar Land and I'm gonna stay there for the rest of the day," said Nwaudobi.

This crash remains under investigation. Police say they have not cited the truck driver, but also the safety of this truck, as is procedure, is under investigation.

The victim hasn't been identified.

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