Rideshare driver killed while changing tire on I-10 after dropping off rider, family tells only 13

Rosie Nguyen Image
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Rideshare driver killed while changing tire on I-10, family says
The woman's husband told only ABC13 he was on FaceTime with her while she was changing her tire before the phone went black, saying that's when he knew something was wrong.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An investigation is underway after a woman was hit and killed while changing her tire on the Katy Freeway Sunday morning, according to police.

The victim's family identified her as 57-year-old Aminah Gardner. They told Eyewitness News she was a rideshare driver for Uber and Lyft. She had just dropped off a rider before her tire went flat.

Investigators with the Houston Police Department say the fatal crash happened at about 2:35 a.m. along I-10 eastbound, past Fry Road, near the Lowe's Home Improvement store.

Gardner's family spoke only with ABC13, saying she was on FaceTime with her husband when the screen went black. He said that's when he knew something was wrong.

"My wife called me. She had a flat, and she was letting me know. She hung up, came back on FaceTime, (and) let me know she had the tire on the vehicle, about to put lugs on the vehicle when the phone went black," Jeffree James Gardner, the victim's husband, said.

ABC13 saw groups of family members and fellow rideshare drivers gathered at the scene to comfort one another after news spread about the crash.

Her family said she was a wife, mother, grandmother, and so much more to the people who knew her. Aminah Gardner's daughter held back tears as she spoke about how her mom will be remembered.

"I just want to tell the world that my mom was a beautiful soul. Beautiful, beautiful soul, and she loved being here. She loved just living life and experiencing life. The person that took her life - turn yourself in, please," Jamaica Gardner said.

"She was someone that was there for all of us. She was the cook, the baker. She has taken the place ever since our grandmother passed away, and now we're just going to be longing for someone else to take that position in our family's life. All of us are going to miss her deeply, and we just want justice for her in the end," Wyetta Butler said on the impact her aunt had on their family.

Houston police say the driver who hit her did not stop and left the scene. Investigators determined the vehicle that hit her is believed to be white after one of its side mirrors was left behind following the crash.

Jeffree Gardner has a message for the person who killed his wife.

"All I know is that somebody came through, hit my wife, and killed her. You continue to go, not realizing that you would do better by just turning yourself in because you've left the scene of the crime, you've already committed a fatality, and you've taken a life that belonged to somebody else. So it's up to you whether or not you decide to turn yourself in or not. Because in the end, you will stand in judgment for it," he said. "You took the life of someone who was extremely special. Not just because she's my wife and my other half that God blessed and gave to me. But because you knowingly committed a crime, and then you fled the scene. It makes no sense."

"Our thoughts are with Aminah's family after this heartbreaking crash," an Uber spokesperson told ABC13.

The family has set up a GoFundMe.

Authorities urge you to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston directly if you have any information related to this investigation. Tipsters must contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting an online tip, or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

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