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Family of man killed on I-45 by tire thrown from a big rig calls for justice at Saturday vigil

Lee Simmons, Jr., 32, was father to five children.

SPRING, Texas — The family of the man killed in a horrific accident on the North Freeway this week held a vigil Saturday at the location where the father of five died.

Lee Simmons, Jr., 32, was killed Thursday night when a tire flew off a big rig on I-45 near the Louetta exit.

His family says they want justice.

In the stifling afternoon heat, they walked, halting traffic and through tall grass to a narrow strip of sidewalk beneath a noisy overpass.

When they got to the spot, they stopped and prayed.

"I can feel his spirit," Lee Simmons' widow, Christina, said.

RELATED: Man killed by a tire on the North Freeway was a father of 5

Lee was killed when a tire flew off a large truck, bouncing off the hood of his car, then smashing into his windshield.

The force of the impact sheared off part of the car’s roof.

His 11-year-old son was riding in the back seat.

Recently released from the hospital, the boy returned to be alongside his mother Saturday, to the place where he saw his father die.

“He’s not doing ok," Christina said. "He's not. This is very hard for him. But I’m glad he made it out alive.”

Lee was father to a total of five children. Christina's arms were full with the couple’s two youngest at the vigil on Saturday.

“He was a very good husband, a very great dad, a church-going man," Christina said. “I can’t believe that we lost him.”

She says her family has been destroyed.

“We’re lost without him," said Christina Simmons. "We’re going to miss him, and I want justice for him and all his family.”

RELATED: Man killed, child injured when wheels come off 18-wheeler on North Freeway, sheriff says

The driver of the big rig remained at the crash site until deputies arrived.

Investigators say the truck’s maintenance records are being reviewed.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Although the family is nowhere near a sense of closure, they say they’re grateful for the support they’ve been shown so far.

They admit they’ll need it in the tough days ahead, for the wife who lost her partner, the babies that will never know him, and the son who didn’t get to tell his dad goodbye.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help them bury Lee and support themself.

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