Lee Simmons, A Texas native and father of five, is dead after a freak accident. The tire of an 18-wheeler truck came off the vehicle, bounced over a freeway divider, and smashed into the windshield of Mr. Simmons’ car shearing off its roof.
What are the details?
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told local news, KTRK-TV, that the 18-wheeler was headed south on Interstate 45 in north Harris County when two tires on the left side of the big rig came off. They then rolled into the main lanes near Louetta at about 1:35 p.m.
The station reported that one of the tires entered the service road and struck a vehicle, causing only minor damage. The driver of the struck vehicle sustained no injuries.
The other tire, however, bounced over the center wall and into the interstate’s northbound lanes. There it hit the windshield of Lee Simmon’s car, striking the man and shearing the car’s roof. Lee Simmons was pronounced dead at the scene, he was 32-years-old.
Sheriff Gonzalez told the news station that Simmons’ 11-year-old child was also in the car when the tire hit it. The child suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a GoFundMe page has been set up for the family, stating Simmons was the father of five children — ages 12, 11, 9, 22 months, and 11 months,.
Simmons’ distraught wife told KTRK at the scene that “it’s not real right now. It’s not real.”
“A tire flew off an 18 wheeler going south and jumped over the other side of the freeway and killed him,” she recounted to the station. “It crashed and totaled the car. It took off the roof. It smashed the windows.”
A witness, Joshua Gable, told the local news station that he was driving behind the truck: “I’m shaking right now, because that’s just how fast life can hit you. One minute you’re driving down the road, and the next minute you’re gone.”
“It’s a tough situation,” Gable said to KTRK. “Somebody lost their life at the end of this. You definitely look at things differently. Like I said, it could’ve been me.”
At this time it is being reported that the Big Rig’s rear tandem wheels broke away from the axle, causing the wheels to separate. Deputies say that the driver stopped, adding that no charges were announced.
As they continue to investigate, Sheriff Gonzalez asks that anyone who may have witnessed the accident to come forward to give further detail.