JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – Two men from Friendswood were killed in a construction crane accident in Jefferson County Thursday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

The crash occurred around 4:30 p.m. in the lanes of I-10 near Beaumont heading west

After a message from DPS, it was initially reported that heavy equipment had become detached from a commercial vehicle.

However, further investigation revealed that a 2013 Toyota pickup truck was traveling west on I-10 near Smith Road while construction teams in the area were working on the I-10 expansion project, servicing a heavy crane.

According to DPS, the crane appeared to be malfunctioning of some kind and hitting the pickup truck. The two occupants of the truck were killed.

According to DPS, the driver, 37-year-old Sarfaraz Karowadia, and his co-driver, 42-year-old Altaf Karowadia, were pronounced dead at the scene.

How the two men were related was not revealed by the authorities.

“This remains an active crash investigation while the soldiers work to determine the exact factors that contributed to this fatal crash,” DPS officials said in a press release.

The Texas Department of Transportation has confirmed it has an active contract with the company involved in construction on the section of I-10 where the incident occurred. A spokesman made this statement on Friday:

Our thoughts and prayers go with those affected by the tragic event on Thursday. TxDOT will give in to the law enforcement team conducting investigations into the incident to provide full details of the crime 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 closings of the project are currently planned. TxDOT is saddened by this accident and loss of life and we extend our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of those involved.

A family friend of the men killed told ABC13 that they owned a grocery store in the Beaumont area, not far from the scene of the accident.

He said the two of them commute from Friendswood to the supermarket on a daily basis.

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