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A woman was rescued after a big rig lost its 40-ton load of gravel on top of her car Thursday on the Katy Freeway, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Officials said the gravel truck overturned on Interstate 10 near T.C. Jester Boulevard at about 10 a.m.
"This was a very scary moment and a tragic accident with a tremendous amount of weight," Assistant Fire Chief Rick Flanagan said. "Some 80,000 pounds of contents pancaked her vehicle."
Witnesses helped Houston Fire Department rescue crews dig the woman out.
"The citizens were taking hubcaps and digging her out, removing the gravel," Flanagan said. "Just to look at the magnitude of this accident, you wonder how this person made it out alive."
Strangers ran to help.
"I had about five hubcaps and I started passing them out to the guys. I was using my hands," a good Samaritan said. "She was directly underneath the middle of the 18-wheeler with all the weight of the pebbles on her back."
"A lot of volunteers used some bare hands -- anything they could. Guys were holding tarps up to keep the gravel from falling off the lady. It was a good effort by all the people that stopped to help, as opposed to those who stopped to gawk," Good Samaritan Hank Taylor said.
The woman was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital conscious and alert. She was listed in stable condition Thursday evening.
She was trapped inside her car for about 40 minutes.
Investigators said the big rig's driver was trying to get around another vehicle when she suddenly cut into the left and right lanes, shifting her load and causing the 18-wheeler to flip over, crushing the car next to her.
The driver is facing numerous violations, including making an unsafe lane change, carrying too much load, brake problems, carrying an improper permit and having worn-out tires.Road Condition Information:
- Houston TranStar Real-Time Traffic Map
- Traffic Pulse Real-Time Traffic Map
- Traffic Section
- Houston Transtar
- Texas Dept. of Transportation Web site or call (800) 452-9292
- Harris County Office of Emergency Management Web site
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