Several eyewitnesses described the accident to investigators. They say the crash made a terrible sound and sent three people to the hospital. "We were looking at the smoke from the fire coming from down the highway," witness Evan Haley said.
It happened around 1pm Saturday on Thompson at Interstate 10.
The Channelview Volunteer Fire Department was responding to a house fire on Harlem at Short. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said the firefighters were northbound on Thompson and almost to their destination when the fire truck was T-boned by a pickup truck traveling west on the I-10 service road.
"You can't recreate that sound. It's like a hellish sound because you had two big vehicles striking each other," Kevin Carney said.
"We're there, just kind of spellbound, watching that. And all of a sudden, we see a bunch of debris like an explosion, and kaboom, and saw a fire truck almost get knocked over," witness Jack Barbee said.
"A big, huge percussion, like a bomb going off," Caleb Barbee said, describing the sound. "I didn't hear no brakes at all."
The driver of the pickup was taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Two passengers were also transported to the hospital, including a 10-year-old boy. Their conditions were unavailable Saturday evening.
The three firefighters in the truck were not injured.
Investigators say initial reports indicate all the equipment on the fire truck was in working order.
"No matter what color light you have, especially if you are starting off from a red light and your light just turned green, always hesitate and look both ways before going through the intersection just for safety point," HCSO Dep. Dashana Cheek said.
The crash left an impact on everyone nearby.
"I hope everybody is alright. It looked like the firefighters were really coming out of that fire truck stunned," J. Barbee said.
No charges have been filed, but sheriff's deputies say the accident is still under investigation.