The collision happened Friday around 10 p.m. as four Main Chick employees were preparing orders for a handful of customers. Surveillance video showed people running away from the crash site. The food truck’s propane tank was launched into the air from the impact of the crash.
The video shows what Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman confirmed to KHOU 11 News, that the driver of the pickup truck ran a red light as it turned off Stuebner Airline onto Louetta. The driver lost control of the four-door Ford truck, authorities said. The Ford hit a curb and continued between a palm tree and a utility pole before smashing into the driver’s side of the food truck.
“One of the employees was standing right here prepping some chicken,” Main Chick Co-Owner Ali Nasser said.
The four employees worked in a pretty tight space inside the food truck. Nasser said one woman fell into a fryer full of boiling hot cooking oil. Nasser said she's recovering from severe burns to most of her back.
Nasser said two other employees were burned on their back, arms and limbs. All three burned employees are out of the hospital and recovering at home.
“These guys are going to be out of work for a little bit now,” Nasser said. “Obviously, it’s something out of our control, but I do feel responsible for my employees. ... They work for me to make an honest living. They have families that they’re responsible for.”
Nasser and his business partner launched a food truck business during the pandemic. Main Chick serves Nashville-style hot chicken. Through the power of social media, Main Chick has built a significant and loyal following. So when Nasser posted on Facebook and Instagram about what happened Friday night, “the customers actually were the ones that were volunteering and asking us to make a GoFundMe.”
Nasser launched a GoFundMe page with the hope that crowdsourced donations could raise $5,000 to cover the medical bills for his employees. The amount was surpassed. Nasser raised the goal to $10,000. At the time this article was published, more than $8,700 has been raised for the employees.
Nasser told KHOU 11 News other customers across Houston are, “volunteering their time, their skills to come out here and repair the truck, fix the truck, do what they got to do to get us back up and running. And, we felt terrible when it happened. We still do. But the support that we’ve got from Houston has been insane and we really, really appreciate it and it’s definitely made us and our employees feel better.”
Herman said the driver of the pickup truck was checked out by doctors at a hospital before being released and ticketed for running a red light.