HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Nicholas Laye installed dash cameras inside his car last year after he was involved in a nasty wreck. He thought the cameras would be an extra layer of protection, in case anything happened to him while on the road.
Never did he think the cameras would capture of a piece of road falling from the sky.
"And out of nowhere, I just hear this loud boom," said Laye. "And as I look around there are some other cars that have some windows that were shook up."
It happened around 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Laye and several vehicles were stopped at a light along the Beltway 8 feeder road at Highway 225 near Pasadena.
Zachry Construction is in the middle of a $176.8 million project for the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
According to Zachry's website, the company, which is headquartered in San Antonio, "was awarded two Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) projects to widen and reconstruct southern portion of the Beltway 8 (BW8) tollway facility. Both projects widen the toll road from Southwest Freeway (US-59) to the north side of the Houston Ship Channel."
The project started in 2017 and is set to end in 2020.
"We actually didn’t know what happened," said Laye. "And so as we pulled over, one of the other people did actually see the fall. And he said, the freeway just fell."
The dash cam video shows a huge slab of concrete falling from the beltway. You can see debris fly and shatter at least one window of a stopped vehicle along the feeder right before you see at least one construction worker react to the sudden drop.
On Thursday, the construction company said a subcontractor, Southern Crushed Concrete, had the piece of concrete removed.
The company said the falling slab was not an accident.
Zachry Construction said crews followed guidelines from the Harris County Toll Road Authority, which did not require them to close the feeder road. We contacted the Harris County Toll Road Authority to find out if that's the case.
The company said there was slightly more debris than usual from the fall and the subcontractor notified the company immediately following.
The debris caused damage to three vehicles, including one belonging to a Zachry employee.
The company says going forward, crews will set up pre-cast shields to protect anyone and any vehicles nearby.
"I mean, you don’t expect to see a section of freeway that large and luckily there was nobody actually underneath where they were working, which is actually the case a lot of times here in Houston." said Laye.
KHOU 11 reached out to the Harris County Toll Road Authority and we're waiting for a response.
"There’s no way they did not hear exactly what happened and as many cars that pulled over," said Laye. "You would expect that at least somebody would come to check on us, but nobody did."
Anyone who was near the incident and suffered damage to their vehicle can file a claim with the construction company.
A spokesman said you should submit a property damage claim to Southern Crushed Concrete, by calling (281) 987-8787.
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