The driver of the big rig had just left the Academy Sporting Goods warehouse about a mile and half down the road. The 18-wheeler was stopped at the intersection and when the light turned green, he proceeded to go across. That's when the driver of a white Chevy Suburban slammed into it.
Investigators say the SUV went through the red light and hit the side of the 18-wheeler and went underneath the rig, ripping off the top of the SUV.
The three men inside the SUV died on impact. The 18-wheeler driver was shaken up, but wasn't injured.
Authorities say speed and alcohol may be a factor since there were no skid marks left behind by the SUV.
"We have no way of knowing at this time, the time of night is 2:15 in the morning. There is a good probability that alcohol was a factor, but until we get the medical examiner's toxicology report, we won't know until then," said S. Wolverton with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The medical examiner is in the process of trying to remove the bodies from the shredded SUV. One person was thrown from the vehicle. Two of the victims in the SUV were partially dismembered.
Authorities haven't released the identification of the the victims. They were in their early 20s.
The intersection was closed for several hours but has since reopened.