The southbound lanes of I-45 were completely closed at Dixie Farm Road after the accident happened at about 6am, forcing traffic to be re-routed around the crash.
Broken glass, a burned out car and an overturned SUV were the aftermath of a crash on the highway that killed what witnesses say looked to be a teenage girl. They told police she was walking in the main lanes of the Gulf Freeway, when she was hit by a car and flew into the air.
"She was killed immediately," said Lt. MJ Parrie with the Houston Police Department. "In the resulting confusion of other vehicles trying to avoid the initial accident, we had several other vehicles involved in accidents."
The car following the one that hit the girl stopped abruptly, and was hit from behind by a dump truck, with the car catching on fire in the crash. A green SUV lost control and flipped over a concrete barrier, landing in a construction zone.
Lt. Parrie said, "All we can tell for sure is that she was in the main lanes of traffic. We're not sure where she came from or what she was doing on the freeway at this time."
In the end, four vehicles were involved in the crash, and the highway was tied up for hours. Other than the girl, though, police say no one else was seriously hurt.
"The driver of the green SUV that was overturned was transported to Memorial Hermann with minor non-life threatening injuries," Lt. Parrie said. "The driver of the white car that caught fire was transferred to Southeast Memorial with minor injuries."
Investigators will be running a toxicology screen on the deceased to see if she had anything unusual in her system. They hope to determine what the pedestrian was doing in the middle of the freeway. Authorities are still working to identify the body.
Police say the driver who struck the victim was questioned and released without charges.