HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Four people died Feb. 18 after the sedan they were traveling in crashed into a tree and caught fire in north Houston.
Houston police said the crash occurred at about 12:30 a.m. in the 5700 block of Will Clayton Parkway near Lee Road.
An Uber driver, who reportedly witnessed the wreck, told police that the sedan sideswiped his car before veering off the road, hitting the tree, and catching fire.
The vehicle caught fire before first responders arrived and rendered aid, officials said.
Houston police have not released the names of the victims or any additional information about their ongoing investigation into the crash.
Thoughts on the fatal vehicle fire in Houston, Texas
This is a very serious accident that has caused unspeakable pain for many. To compound the issue, the families involved will have little information about the cause of the accident from the initial reports and must rely on professionals to uncover the details.
Authorities are likely to focus on the cause of the accident—the moments leading up to the driver side-swiping the uber driver and crashing into the tree. However, the fundamental questions in this tragic accident revolve around the post-collision fire. Anyone reading this article knows a car should never explode following a collision. Frankly, post-collision fires are unacceptable in the world we live in today. Auto manufacturers have the technology available to prevent post-collision fires from occurring, and that technology should be standard in every vehicle.
What can we do? Unfortunately, auto manufacturers generally only act above the minimum standards of safety invoked by the governments when forced to do so. Thus, to raise the safety bar on our roadways, we can either lobby the government for stricter design standards or hold auto manufacturers liable for their roles in tragic accidents.
Now, I am not alleging this car lacked the technology necessary to prevent a post-collision fire. I am simply pointing out that this is where our attention should be focused. I find it hard to believe that all four occupants would have been killed had the vehicle not caught fire. The post-collision fire surely contributed to this accident in a severe way.
I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families affected. I pray that you may find peace during this difficult time.
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