A mother and her son were returning home to Houston from Lufkin when a tire flew off a pickup truck and stuck the pair's windshield.

The tragic accident happened around 7 p.m. on Thursday.

According to KTRK, the woman and her 17-year-old son were returning home from the teen's baseball game in Lufkin when a pickup truck in the opposite lane on the Eastex Freeway lost a tire. The tire then slammed into the windshield, killing the woman instantly.

The 17-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.

After the pickup truck lost its tire, it caused two other crashes resulting in injuries for those drivers. It's unclear what caused the truck's tire to fly off.

This is a tragic story all around, and can happen whether it's a bad tire or poorly secured cargo. Please take this time to remember to strap down any cargo you may be hauling.

According to the Texas Transportation Code § 725.021:

  • A vehicle bed carrying a load:
    • May not have a hole, crack, or other opening through which loose material can escape;  and
  • Shall be enclosed:
    • on both sides by side panels;
    • on the front by a panel or the vehicle cab;  and
    • on the rear by a tailgate or panel.

Please take this time to think of other drivers on the road. You may be trying to get from one place to another, but taking an extra moment to fully secure all the items you're carrying could save a life.

Staying on top of any vehicle inspections not only helps you drive a safe vehicle, but could also prevent these tragedies from occurring. Remember to balance, rotate, and align your tires regularly.

Stay safe, East Texas.

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