WALLER COUNTY, TX (KTRK) --A firefighter with the Houston Fire Department has been identified as one of two people killed in an accident on the Katy Freeway that snarled traffic for miles in each direction.
Jason Hamilton, a 12-year veteran with HFD, lost control of his Toyota Tundra and hit two women inside a Toyota 4Runner, around 9:52 this morning, authorities said.
"He was traveling eastbound, and he came across the center median, and across the three-foot barrier, and came to the westbound side and struck a lady," said Sgt. Stephen Woodard of Texas Department of Public Safety.
The female driver of the 4Runner has been identified as 61-year-old Shelley McKay. She was killed instantly. Her passenger is in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
"I don't see how that could have happened unless he hit something and lost control," said Tom Benning, one of hundreds of drivers stuck in traffic for several hours because of the accident. "The truck became airborne and jumped a concrete median."
Although it's too early to know the cause, we did notice an entire wheel assembly had sheared off the truck.
"I stopped for two minutes, and it could have been any of us, if you think about it. It's really, really crazy," said Alejandro Flores, another witness.
Hamilton, 43, worked at Fire Station 21. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.
The following is a statement released from the Houston Professional Firefighters Association:
"Houston fire fighters mourn the off-duty death today of Houston fire fighter Jason D. Hamilton, who was a member of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association. Our organization will strive to help support his brothers and sisters in the fire service and his family in this difficult time. Please keep the two families affected by this inexplicable tragedy in your thoughts and prayers as answers are sought."