HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Car trouble on a busy Houston highway resulted in a crash that killed 23-year-old Darius Taylor.
Last week, Darius Taylor had stalled out on Highway 90 near Hillcroft when he was less than 10 minutes away from home.
Roadside Assistance, his mom, and his girlfriend were all trying to get to him, but Darius Taylor died on the highway before they could reach him. A driver in a dually truck rear-ended him. Now, his family is trying to deal with his unexpected death.
"Horrible. Horrible. Simply horrible," Erica Taylor, Darius Taylor's mother, said as she described the last six days without her only son.
Recalling the moment her world shattered, she said a first responder called from the crash scene.
"I kept saying, 'Where is my son?' Then he told me that there was a bad accident, and Darius didn't survive," Erica Taylor recalled.
One of the last things Darius Taylor did was record a video on his phone. Harris County Precinct 7 Constable's Office investigators said he was in the far right, moving lane of traffic. The video showed his hazards were on, and there was smoke coming from the hood. Investigators said a truck driver coming up an incline rear-ended Darius Taylor's vehicle. The driver stayed at the scene and took a field sobriety test. The driver has not been charged, but the investigation isn't over.
Regardless of whether what happened was illegal, Erica Taylor said it was unfair.
"He at home and my baby not. My son is not home," she said.
Car problems that can create broken families are common.
"It's important to evaluate your specific situation and react accordingly," Joshua Zuber with AAA Texas said.
Without knowing the specifics of this wreck, Zuber said drivers dealing with a breakdown should put as much distance as they can between themselves and other cars.
"Drive your vehicle as far away, out of traffic, as you possibly can onto the shoulder. Try to note your location, such as a mile marker, a major intersection, or an exit that you're near. Turn on your hazard signals, and call for help," he said.
But help did not come quickly enough in Darius Taylor's case. His family said he was a happy, peaceful person who loved to dance. They never forget his style or his smile.
"He means the world to us," his mother said, "We are really going to miss him. Really. This a hard one."
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