HOUSTON — A horrific weekend on Houston-area roads included six deaths in wrong-way crashes.
Irania Diaz and Christian Morales died along Highway 249 while on their way home from the rodeo.
“They were about three minutes from home,” said Diaz’s Sam Houston State sorority sister Rickeal Martin.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the two friends died on the scene when a wrong-way driver struck them near the intersection of Hollister Drive.
They said that driver was travelling southeast in the northwest lanes and later died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.
“I can’t even imagine what she felt and what he last thoughts were,” said Diaz friend Anna Artuello. “It’s really, really, sad.”
Other fatal wrong-way crashes included one along Highway 225 in Pasadena and a violent collision on I-45 near downtown.
“Based on our investigators’ experience, being impaired or intoxicated is one of the highest reasons someone would go the opposite way on a major roadway at night,” said Sgt. Simon Cheng with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
That’s despite signs that warn you’re going the wrong way and reflectors in the roadway that change color along some routes.
Houston Police say pull over if you encounter a wrong-way driver and exit the freeway, if at all possible.
Call 911 once who’ve stopped to help warn others.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD, has advice for anyone who drinks.
“If you’re going to drink, have a designation driver or use alternative rides,” said John McNamee of MADD Houston. “Make a choice not to put yourself, your family, or other people in a situation because you drove drunk.”
All of the weekend crashes are still under investigation.
Charges are pending against any at-fault drivers who survived.
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