NEW CANEY, Texas -- A mother was killed when a wheel flew off another vehicle and into her windshield as she was driving on a freeway Thursday night near Houston.
The accident happened around 7:15 p.m. in New Caney, Texas.
According to authorities, the woman and her 17-year-old son were on the way home from the teen's baseball game in a nearby city.
They were traveling in a white GMC pickup in the southbound lanes, when a tire and wheel from a Dodge pickup truck in the northbound lanes flew off, went over the highway concrete barrier, and hit the mom.
She was killed instantly.
Her son, who was asleep in the front passenger seat at the time of the wreck, went to the hospital with serious injuries.
After the windshield crashed through the mother's truck, investigators say she lost control and rear-ended a car with a father and three children inside.
The GMC then slid against the concrete barrier, breaking its right rear wheel off before finally coming to a stop.
The father and three children were taken to Kingwood Hospital. They are also in serious condition, but are stable
It's not clear if the driver whose tire blew out was hurt.
Investigators haven't yet said what caused the tire and wheel to fall off.
While it may seem like a freak accident, this has happened many times before on Houston highways.
In 2017, 738 people died because of tire-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports that more than 19,000 people are hurt every year, but adds that most of these crashes are preventable.
Here are some things you can do.
- Basic tire maintenance. That means rotate, align, and balance your tires.
- Check for worn treads. Twenty-three percent of tire-related crashes are because tires are too old.
- If you feel a vibration or hear rattling, get your tires checked.
- Register your tires. It's the only way to know if there's a recall.