HOUSTON -- A tire blowout is blamed for a deadly accident that sent a pickup truck hurtling into a concrete column along the Eastex Freeway, killing one person and sending two others to hospitals.

The truck driving southbound on the Eastex Freeway feeder road was hauling a heavy piece of Caterpillar equipment. Witnesses heard the tire blowout and saw the pickup truck fishtail across the road.

The tire blew boom, said Victor Gurrole, who was pulling his own truck off his driveway when he witnessed the accident. It just, all of a sudden, it started vibrating the truck a little bit. I guess he was trying to control the truck. With all that weight I think he couldn't do it, you know.

The truck hurtled off the feeder road and it might have raced into the main lanes of the freeway if it hadn't crashed between a highway barrier and a concrete column. The collision crushed and twisted the truck around the concrete.

Cab driver John Jones was headed down the same feeder road when he saw the Caterpillar equipment lying in the lanes of traffic. Then he saw the truck wreckage. Jones grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran toward the accident site.

I was scared, Jones said. I'm not going to lie to anybody. I was really scared, but I had to do what I had to do.

Within minutes, firefighters scrambling over the accident scene extricated the two surviving accident victims.

Traffic on the southbound side of the Eastex Freeway backed up for miles as emergency workers spent hours untangling the deadly wreckage.

It's scary, Jones said. I mean, I keep thinking, what if he'd been on the freeway and I'd been on the freeway too.

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