HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) - Four people died in separate traffic crashes in Houston late Sunday night and early Monday morning.
In the most recent wreck, a man died when he slammed into a parked ambulance about 4:30 a.m. Monday in the 2400 block of Holman near St. Charles just south of downtown, said Jay Evans, a spokesman with the Houston Fire Department. Six other people were injured in the crash.
Evans said an HFD ambulance was stopped outside a home to pick up a man who had chest pains when the driver of a sports utility vehicle hit it head-on.
The SUV driver died at the scene. Five firefighters at the scene had minor injuries and were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital. Their conditions were not released, but Evans said they were all expected to be fine. The most severely injured firefighter had a broken right leg.
Evans said the patient the ambulance had initially been dispatched to pick up was taken to the Veteran's Administration Hospital for his heart condition. One of his relatives, who was sitting in the front seat of the ambulance at the time of the crash, was rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital. The person had minor injuries.
HFD medical staff was attending to the man with the chest pains in the back of the ambulance when the driver of a silver Dodge Journey hit the ambulance, according to the Houston Police Department. Police the SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed and there were no indications the driver tried to stop before the crash. He died while he was still sitting behind the steering wheel. He was not wearing a seat belt and was alone in the SUV. The speed limit on the road is 30 mph. Police said the emergency lights on the ambulance were engaged at the time of the wreck.
In an unrelated earlier crash, two men died when they slammed into the back of stalled SUV on Interstate 45 near the north Sam Houston Parkway in north Houston about 1:15 a.m. Monday, according to the Houston Police Department.
Police said a blue Ford Expedition was traveling southbound on the North Freeway when it stalled. The driver of a white Volkswagen Pointer, also traveling southbound on the freeway, smashed into the rear of the SUV.
The 27-year-old passenger in the Volkswagen died at the scene. The 29-year-old driver was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the Expedition was not hurt. The freeway was shut down for a few hours after the crash, but it was later reopened.
Another person died in a crash about 11 p.m. Sunday in the 12400 block of the south Sam Houston Parkway near U.S. 59 in southwest Houston. The wreck happened on the entrance ramp to the southbound Southwest Freeway. No other information was immediately available.
More details will be reported as the story develops.