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. on the westward lanes of I-10 near Beaumont
According to a statement from DPS, it was originally reported that heavy equipment had been replaced by a commercial vehicle.
However, further investigation revealed that a 2013 Toyota pickup truck was traveling west on I-10 near Smith Road while construction workers in the area worked on the I-10 expansion project and operated a heavy crane.
The crane appeared to be malfunctioning and, according to DPS, hit the pickup. The two occupants of the truck were killed.
According to DPS, the driver, 37-year-old Sarfaraz Karowadia, and his passenger, 42-year-old Altaf Kasowadia, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The authorities did not say how the two men were related.
“This remains an active crash investigation as 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 the construction for the portion of I-10 where the incident occurred. A spokesman made this statement on Friday:
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragic event on Thursday. TxDOT will give in to the law enforcement team investigating the incident for details of the scene or specific parties involved. We can confirm that TxDOT has an active contract with Johnson Brothers Corporation on the I-10 construction project from FM 365 to Walden Rd. No closings are currently planned for the project. TxDOT is saddened by this accident and loss of life and extends our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of those involved.
A family friend of the men killed told ABC13 they owned a grocery store in the Beaumont area, not far from where the crash took place.
He said the two of them commute from Friendswood to the supermarket on a daily basis.
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