Family of father killed after 18-wheeler's loose tires strike 2 vehicles hold a balloon release

Daniela Hurtado Image
Sunday, August 7, 2022
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The husband and father of five children had his life suddenly taken after a tire from an 18-wheeler jumped the center wall and sheared the roof of the vehicle.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family and loved ones of a man killed in a bizarre accident on I-45 near Louetta in Harris County are looking for accountability and justice.

Lee Simmons,32, died after an 18-wheeler lost two of its wheels mid-drive along Interstate 45 in north Harris County. The incident happened in the 20700 block of the North Freeway near Louetta at about 1:35 p.m. Thursday.

The semi-truck was heading southbound on the North Freeway when two tires on its left side came off and rolled into the main lanes, Sheriff Gonzalez said.

One of the wheels went onto the service road and struck a vehicle but only caused minor damage.

The 2nd wheel bounced over the center wall and onto the freeway's northbound lanes. It then hit the windshield of another car, striking the Simmons and shearing the vehicle's roof. Inside the car with Simmons was his 11-year-old son, who suffered minor injuries.

"I can't believe we lost him over the truck's negligence. We're lost without him. We're going to miss him," the victim's wife, Christina Simmons, said.

In tears, people who loved him gathered to release balloons in his honor on Saturday afternoon.

"He was a very good husband. A very great dad. And a church-going man," Simmons' wife said.

Hand in hand with his mom, the 11-year-old who was in the car with his father and miraculously survived was also in attendance at the balloon release in honor of his dad.

"He's traumatized. This is very hard for him," Christina said.

The one thing the family wants is justice for the beloved father.

There is an investigation underway to determine how the incident happened.

"We need to again reiterate the safety of trucks traveling on the roads in the city of Houston and on the highways, and we want motorists to feel safe on the road. And so we need some reform, we definitely need some reform," Anjanette Wyatt, a family member, said.

The family aims for the father's death to not be in vain. They want to see accountability and for this to never happen again.

There is a GoFundMe account that was set up to help the grieving family.

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