The family identified the woman as Ciandra Reed, originally from Arkansas. Her aunt, Adanah Davis, said Reed just turned 29 years old last month and was making plans to go home for Thanksgiving.
Houston police were called to the inbound lanes of the Katy Freeway between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford at about 3 a.m.
Police said Reed's white Toyota Sedan pulled over and parked on the shoulder after a passenger in the back seat of the car started feeling sick. That's when Reed got out to check on the passenger.
"Her life was taken all because she wanted to see about her friend," Davis said. "She was taken away from what she enjoys doing, being helpful."
A white Hyundai sedan going eastbound exited the main lanes and struck the rear of Reed's vehicle, according to police. Reed was thrown and died at the scene.
"The lady there was already passed away," said a security officer at the scene. "Another lady was pushing on her lungs in order for her to survive, but she didn't survive."
Police said they have reason to believe the driver of the Hyundai sedan was intoxicated.
"The other driver was crying and screaming," said the security. "He said 'I didn't do anything.' He thought I was a police officer, but I told him I was security. I told him I didn't see it happen and that he should calm down."
The driver has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
"We know that won't bring her back," Davis said. "However, we are hoping that justice is served for her life, because this was a young vibrant, loving, and caring, and considerate and loyal child that you know enjoyed life. When that happened, he ripped life away from us and her mother and her father."
The sick passenger is expected to be OK after suffering minor injuries, police said.
Davis said Reed's cousin, who was in town visiting, was also in the vehicle and is expected to be OK.
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