Fatal crash on US 290 spawns 3 other accidents

April 22, 2012 12:56:06 PM PDT
A one-vehicle rollover on the Northwest Freeway early Sunday left one person dead and then caused three chain-reaction accidents, officials said.

The westbound lanes of Highway 290 were blocked between Barker Cypress and Huffmeister while deputies investigated the accidents and worked to clear the scene.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, there were four vehicles involved in the four crashes. It all started around 3:40am.

Authorities said the victim was in a red Mercury Cougar. He was westbound in the 24400 block of the Northwest Freeway when his car drifted to the outside of the roadway and struck a guardrail.

The car flipped, deputies said, and landed on its roof in the center lane.

The man was ejected from the car and landed in the roadway.

Minutes later, an unknown vehicle was traveling in the center westbound lane and struck the victim. That driver never stopped, officials said.

Just moments after the second crash, a Lexus in the center westbound lane came upon the overturned Cougar. The driver saw the victim lying in the roadway and hit the brake, but officials said he couldn't stop in time. The Lexus struck the victim and came to rest in the center lane of Highway 290.

It did not end there, authorities said.

A Mazda 3 soon approached the crash scene. Investigators said the driver saw the victim's Cougar in the roadway and swerved but was unable to avoid collision. The Mazda 3 struck the Cougar and spun out, hitting the outside concrete barrier wall.

The drivers of the Lexus and Mazda were not injured. Both stayed at the scene and gave statements to investigators. Officials said several witnesses also stopped and told authorities what they saw.

The driver of the initial striking vehicle has not been located. Anyone with information can call the HCSO Accident Enforcement Section, which is investigating the incident.

The victim's name has not been released pending notification of family members.

All lanes of Highway 290 were open within about three hours.


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