Tuesday around 5:40 a.m., a pickup driver going southbound on the Pierce Elevated near Houston Avenue lost one of their tires. Police said the tire sheared off at the axle of the truck then crossed over the barrier wall between lanes and slammed into the window of an SUV going northbound. The driver in the SUV was killed.
The driver of the SUV has been identified as Abdias Layva.
According to traffic investigators, metal fatigue is to blame for the tire coming off of the F-150.
"It looked like metal fatigue. It just broke, there's nothing the driver could have done. Just a freak accident," said Lieutenant Paul George with the Houston Police Department.
Layva's father said he is in shock.
"He was a real hard worker, happy," Zeferino Leyva said.
Mechanic Michael Poutous of Poutous Collision & Mechanical believes the wheel bearing malfunctioned.
"The bearing will fail if you drive it long enough... It will tear all this metal up," Poutous explained.
He said there are signs to watch out for. You will hear a loud noise coming from the wheel, one of the biggest indicators something is wrong.
"There should be grinding noises. The brakes should be softer than normal. There's a lot of warnings that go on before the bearing actually fails," said Poutous.
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