Family identifies Good Samaritan killed on North Loop while helping driver change tire

Family identifies Good Samaritan killed on North Loop while helping driver change tire
Family identifies Good Samaritan killed on North Loop while helping driver change tire

HOUSTON – A family is identifying a Good Samaritan who was killed after he was hit while helping a driver change a tire on his vehicle Monday.

Javier Leyva, 44, tried to help the driver of a silver Hyundai Santa Fe that had a flat tire as he traveled on the North Loop East near Wallisville Road.

Leyva’s daughter, Jessica Leyva, said her mother and aunt told her of her father’s death when they arrived at her apartment early Tuesday morning.

“They were just crying hysterically,” Jessica recalls. “I asked them what was going on and they told me my father passed away. I thought, ‘You’re lying. I just saw his position. Like he was on 610, what are you talking about? We just talked to him.'”

The father of three is described as kind and selfless.

Jessica said she would regularly be with her father when he stopped to help others.

“If he could, he would,” she said. “It’s something he’s always done. You know even if I was in the truck or something, he’d say, “Oh look, I’ll help them.”

Officers said Leyva was driving a white Dodge Ram pickup truck when he stopped in front of a silver Hyundai and got out of the vehicle to help the driver change a tire. A Toyota Corolla traveling west on the main lanes of the North Loop was struck from behind by an unknown vehicle and the impact pushed the Toyota onto the shoulder, Houston police said. The Toyota then hit the Hyundai, the Leyva and the pickup. According to investigators, the driver of the unknown vehicle fled the scene without stopping to render aid.

Leyva’s brother, Oscar, said the 44-year-old was returning home after visiting his mother.

“He was free that day. He just drove. He came to see my mother. He went back, explained Oscar Leyva. “On the way home, he noticed that someone was stranded. He knows a bit about cars, I’m a mechanic myself. He figured you know, ‘I could change a tire very quickly.’ He stopped and did what he had to do and that was the end of it. It’s really sad and heartbreaking that you’re trying to do a good cause and this is what happens.”

Sgt. David Rose with HPD’s Vehicular Crimes Division emphasizes the importance of highway safety.

“It’s very dangerous to stop on the highway at all,” Sgt. Rose said. “That’s why we tell people to get off the freeway if they get into a fender bender and nobody’s hurt.”

“We need to get drivers like that off the highway, off the street, we don’t need those types of drivers,” Oscar said. “It causes a lot of pain for honest working families. We don’t really need that. Houston doesn’t need that.”

His niece, Jessica, has a message for the suspected driver.

“To the person who did this,” Jessica said. “If it happened to your family, you would be just as devastated. You want someone to come forward and the same to anyone who has seen something, come forward and let us know. We all want justice.”

Anyone with information about the identity of the wanted driver is encouraged to contact the HPD Hit-and-Run Unit at (713) 247-4072 or speak anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

The family has since set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.


Transstar’s Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) is a free program designed to help stranded drivers on all highways in the Harris County area. It is available all day and all night Monday to Friday

Call 713-CALL-MAP (713-225-5627)

MAP officers are fully equipped to assist with the following:

  • Changing a flat tire.

  • Add fuel, water and/or air.

  • Starter cars.

  • Assist with minor engine repairs.

  • Remove stranded vehicles from the roadway.

  • Provide courteous transportation of stranded motorists to a safe location.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority’s Incident Management Program offers roadside assistance daily between 5 a.m. and midnight. call (281) 584-7500 for more information.

“The Incident Management Program oversees the Incident Response Team. The primary role of the Incident Response Team is to help clear incidents on HCTRA roads as safely and quickly as possible and prevent other incidents from occurring,” the program says.

Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go is available 24/7 including holidays, just call (713) 881-3333.

Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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