A bizarre Houston car accident has police and witnesses shaking their heads and wondering who is to blame, while a family grieves the loss of a loved one. Abdias Layva, a 36-year old man, had just dropped his father off at work and was driving home when his vehicle was struck by a wheel that had fallen off of a Ford-150 heading in the opposite direction on the Interstate 45 Pierce Elevated. The wheel bounced into the driver side of Leyva’s sport utility vehicle, killing him instantly.
Zefferino Salgado, the father of the man killed in the Houston car accident, said his family is devastated and trying to come to acceptance. “Everybody has their time and their hour. Nobody knows what’s going to happen to them. It’s one’s destiny. Everyone has their time. Everybody dies at their time.” Police on the scene said that the accident was likely caused by metal fatigue, as the axle seems to have simply broken in two pieces.
Metal Fatigue Likely to Blame for Houston Car Accident
Mechanic Michael Poutous of Poutous Collision & Mechanical said that he has seen this type of breakdown before. “The bearing will fail if you drive it long enough … It will tear all this metal up.” He also said that there are signs that this type of accident is impending. “There should be grinding noises. The brakes should be softer than normal. There’s a lot of warnings that go on before the bearing actually fails,” he said.
According to Houston Police Department Captain William McPherson, each year there are roughly 200,000 car crashes across the nation that are blamed on road debris and items falling off of other vehicles, though only about 500 lead to fatalities. “It usually happens in a major metropolitan area where you have heavy traffic. Vehicles are traveling at a rapid rate of speed and you have something falling off of a vehicle or falling out of the back of a vehicle. When anything is picked up and actually comes into that windshield area, it’s like a projectile. It’s very much like a large bullet.” In this case, the F-150’s tire sliced through the SUV’s windshield and roof.