Street racing may be to blame for fiery crash

April 21, 2010 8:29:22 AM PDT
Police say what may have started as a race between two drivers in northwest Houston overnight ended in a fiery wreck involving a big rig. According to witnesses, around 11pm, two cars were racing westbound on the North Loop near Ella, when a Volkswagen Jetta with four people inside cut in front of an 18-wheeler. The big rig clipped that back end of the Jetta, causing the car to flip over.

The rig driver lost control and slammed into the middle retaining wall, and then hit the car a second time. The sparks caused the truck's diesel tanks to ignite, causing a huge fire. The cab of the 18-wheeler, along with four to five vehicles, were completely burned and another two vehicles had heat damage.

"We had problems with water supply, but the pumpers laid storage across the freeway," said District Chief Thomas Ponce with the Houston Fire Department. "That is why the traffic was stopped going eastbound."

We're told by a Houston police officer that a passenger in the Volkswagen got out and hid a bag of marijuana outside of the car before fleeing the scene. Police are looking for that passenger.

The two people in the 18-wheeler and their dog were lucky to get out alive. Two people from the other vehicle were taken to Northwest Memorial Hermann hospital with minor injuries.

All lanes have since reopened.


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