Just after 3:30 a.m. on September 5, 2020, an Acura SUV, driven by Abner Maldonado, was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of SH-99 near Rayford Road. That SUV struck a 2010 Nissan Altima, driven by Esteban Espinoza-Martinez, head-on causing both vehicles to scatter vehicle parts across SH-99. A Federal Express 18-wheeler which was behind the Nissan was momentarily blinded by the smoke from the crash. As he drove into it the driver struck the engine of the passenger car which had broken loose from the vehicle. The 18-wheeler lost control and slammed into the barrier cables that divide the eastbound and westbound sides of the road. The cables which at tensioned to 10,000 pounds cut into the cab of the 18-wheeler as he continued across the westbound lanes and to the ditch on the westbound side of the freeway. TXDOT responded to release the tension. Esteban Espinoza-Martinez was the only occupant of the Nissan and was deceased on the scene. He lived in Tomball and according to his sons had been on the way to his 4am shift at McDonalds in Kingwood. Maldonado, the wrong way driver was taken to Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands in critical condition after being freed by firefighters. Steven Kennedy, the driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit assisted DPS in the investigation. South Montgomery County Fire was assisted by Porter and Spring Fire departments and Woodlands Hazmat. HAZMAT International was dispatched to the scene to clean the motor oil and the diesel after the 18-wheeler tank was ruptured when it hit the cables. A witness, Derrion Shields, said that he was traveling east on SH99 in the left lane when he saw a vehicles headlights coming towards him in the eastbound lanes. After changing lanes the SUV passed him continuing westbound. Shields saw the crash, pulled over and called 911. Maldonado’s blood alcohol came back at .299 at Hermann Hospital and was tested at 0.256 at the DPS lab. That is almost four times the legal limit. On Thursday a jury sentenced Maldonado to 9-years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.