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HOUSTON - A major crash closed Hempstead Highway in northwest Houston early Thursday, killing one person and sending another to the hospital.

The Houston Fire Department was called to Hempstead Highway near West by N.W. Boulevard around 6 a.m. It appeared one car slammed into the rear of another car, a Ford Focus,that was stopped in a center turn lane.

There were two occupants in the car that was struck, and firefighters had to use special equipment to free them from thewreckage. Both were transported to Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital.

One victim, a woman,was pronounced dead after CPR efforts failed, the Houston Police Department said. Theother patient was last reported in stable condition.

The other car involved in the crash,a Toyota Camry,swerved into a nearby ditch. Its driver was not injured. He told police he didn't see the car he hit because another oncoming vehicle's headlights impaired his vision.

Houston police are investigating accident.

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