Breaking: Two Houston Men Fatally Injured in Accident After a Crane Hit Their Truck While Driving on I-10 in Beaumont
The identities of the victims of last night’s fatal crane accident in Beaumont have been confirmed. The driver was 37-year-old Sarfaraz Karowadia, and his passenger was 42-year-old Altaf Kasowadia. The men, both of whom were from Friendswood, were driving westbound on I-10 on Thursday when the pickup truck they were in was struck by a malfunctioning crane in a nearby construction site.
Authorities state that the accident happened on Thursday, at about 4:30 p.m., off of I-10 and Smith Road, just south of Beaumont. The Texas Department of Public Safety stated that though this is still an active investigation, the preliminary reports “indicate that a crash occurred and heavy equipment became dislodged from a commercial motor vehicle.” Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Stephanie Davis said that the crane “experienced some type of malfunction,” causing it to topple over and strike the pickup truck. Both men were pronounced dead on the scene.
Construction workers contracted by Johnson Brothers Corporation were working on widening I-10 from two lanes to three lanes in both directions between Walden Road and FM 365, a project that commenced in early 2019. At the time of the accident, the contracted workers were operating a heavy crane, and it appears that the crane experienced a malfunction causing it to fall onto the pickup, fatally injuring the men inside.
In a statement, a representative of The Texas Department of Transportation said that “Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the tragic event Thursday. TxDOT will yield to the law enforcement team conducting investigations into the incident to provide any details regarding the scene or specific parties involved. We can confirm that TxDOT has an active contract with Johnson Brothers Corporation for the I-10 construction project from FM 365 to Walden Rd. No closures are currently scheduled on the project at this time. TxDOT is saddened by this accident and loss of life, and we offer our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of those involved.”
In addition, Johnson Brothers Corporation also released a statement, saying that “In response to the incident which occurred on the construction site located along I-10, involving subcontractor Hemphill Construction, our thoughts and prayers are with all involved in this incident.” The investigation into what caused the crane to malfunction is still underway, as several parties will need to be involved. In addition to investigations being done by Johnson Bros. Corporation, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are conducting their own investigations as well.
Following the accident, the westbound lanes of I-10 were closed from 4:30 p.m. until about 9 p.m. that evening. The Texas Department of Transportation has postponed any further construction in the area and scheduled road closures in Jefferson County for the next few days until the investigation of the fatal crane accident can be completed.
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