Tire blowouts cause a significant number of accidents every year. Statistically, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates approximately 11,000 accidents that are the direct result of a blowout occur every year.
This seems to be the case in an accident that happened in Houston on Friday morning. In a story appearing on Houston’s Chron.com website, it was reported that a green pickup truck suffered a tire blowout on the North I-45 at approximately 5:10 a.m. in a lane of traffic that had been moving. The truck was struck by another vehicle, which was in turn struck by two additional vehicles in what appears to be a chain reaction crash. Surprisingly, there were no injuries.
The second crash, according to Houston Police Department Spokesman John Cannon, happened at approximately 5:15 a.m. when an 18-wheeler traveling inbound near West Road swerved in an attempt to avoid the pile-up on the Interstate. The big rig struck the last vehicle causing the driver to lose control. The 18-wheeler rolled over with a portion of the vehicle going over a concrete barrier and into the HOV lane. The overturned rig caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames. Emergency crews spent several hours putting out the fire and removing the charred wreckage from the roadway.
The truck driver managed to escape from his truck on his own. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment for injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening.
The accident is currently being investigated by the Houston Police Department and the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston District investigators.