Molten glass and bits of plastic on the shoulder are the only reminder of the deadly crash that shut down southbound lanes of the North Freeway for hours Sunday morning.
Around 5:20 a.m., Harris County deputies say the driver of a Nissan Highlander was speeding north into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with another car near FM 1960. The SUV burst into flames.
“That driver was unable to get out of the vehicle and was deceased at the scene,” said Deputy Leo Anders with Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The driver in the other car was transported by Memorial Hermann Life Flight. He was in stable condition, possibly suffering a possible broken pelvis.
HCSO hasn’t identified the driver who caused the crash, but they’re now trying to figure out why he or she ignored glaring signs along the feeder road near Richey Road and entered the freeway anyway.
“We'll determine whether there's any intoxication or drugs involved,” Anders said.
According to KHOU 11 analysis of TxDOT crash statistics, this is the 36th wrong-way crash in the Houston area just this year.
As soon as we posted this story online, it generated quite a few comments like Jackie Hill’s: "This is happening way too often lately. Someone needs to come up with a way to keep this from happening. Maybe something to puncture the tires if you go the wrong way.”
TxDot actually studied whether installing spike strips along freeway exit ramps would help cut down on wrong-way drivers. The agency outlined ten engineering reasons not to use the devices, including ineffectiveness and potential damage to cars headed the right way.
For now, law enforcement has to rely on drivers paying attention to “Do Not Enter” and “Wrong Way” signs to keep everyone else on the road safe.