HOUSTON (AP) All southbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway were shut down early Monday following a head-on crash that killed two people, including a police officer.
Houston TranStar reported the crash occurred near the exit for Almeda Genoa Road around 2:41 a.m.
A spokesman for the Houston Police Department said a Chrysler 300 was traveling in the wrong direction when it hit the off-duty officer's personal SUV head-on. Both drivers died at the scene.
The killed officer was not a member of HPD but rather a smaller police agency in the area, said the spokesman.
At least one driver managed to avoid hitting the wrong-way driver, but investigators said the officer didn’t have enough time to swerve out of the way.
“There was a witness that was directly in front of the SUV traveling southbound, and he saw the oncoming vehicle and was able to get out of the way,” said HPD Sgt. Steven Sorge. “According to his statement, the small SUV that had the police officer in it was about 50 feet behind him and just didn’t have time to maneuver.”
HPD said the officer was in uniform at the time of his death. His identity and department have not yet been released pending notification of the victim’s family.
The freeway reopened shortly after 7 a.m. but southbound delays were still reported.