2 Friendswood men killed when crane hits truck on I-10 near Beaumont

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Two men from Friendswood were killed in an accident with a construction crane in Jefferson County Thursday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

The crash happened in the westbound lanes of I-10 near Beaumont around 4:30 p.m.

According to a release from DPS, it was initially reported that heavy equipment became dislodged from a commercial motor vehicle.

However, further investigation revealed that a 2013 Toyota pickup truck was traveling westbound on I-10 near Smith Road while construction crews in the area were working on the I-10 widening project, operating a heavy crane.

The crane appeared to experience some type of malfunction and struck the pickup, according to DPS. The two occupants of the truck were killed.

According to DPS, the driver, 37-year-old Sarfaraz Karowadia, and his passenger, 42-year-old Altaf Karowadia, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities did not say how the two men were related.

"This remains an active crash investigation as troopers work to determine the exact factors that contributed to this fatal crash," DPS officials said in a release.

The Texas Department of Transportation confirmed it has an active contract with the company involved in the construction work on the portion of I-10 where the incident happened. A spokesperson gave this statement Friday:

Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the tragic event Thursday. TxDOT will yield to the law enforcement team conducting investigations into the incident to provide any details regarding the scene or specific parties involved. We can confirm that TxDOT has an active contract with Johnson Brothers Corporation for the I-10 construction project from FM 365 to Walden Rd. No closures are currently scheduled on the project at this time. TxDOT is saddened by this accident and loss of life, and we offer our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of those involved.

A family friend of the men killed told ABC13 they owned a convenience store in the Beaumont area not far from where the crash occurred.

He said the two would commute from Friendswood to the convenience store daily.
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