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A man who died near downtown when he jumped from the cab of his moving 18-wheeler was apparently trying to stage a wreck early Tuesday morning to collect from his insurance company, Houston police said.

The man died when he slammed onto the pavement in the 4200 block of the northbound Eastex Freeway feeder road near Cavalcade about 2 a.m., police said.

The victim, whose name has not been released, had head injuries. No other injuries were reported. Police said the man's business partner told investigators the trucker was staging an accident to file a fraudulent claim with his insurance company.

The business partner said he was following the truck in a sport utility vehicle when the driver jumped through the door of the big rig just as the truck it hit the curb. He hit his head and later died.

The man said the trucker was attempting to intentionally drive the white Volvo truck into a freeway column on the feeder road beneath the 610 North Loop.

The truck was traveling at about 50 mph, police said. The driver was alone in the cab and was not pulling a trailer.

The witness said he stopped his SUV, ran after the truck as it slowly rolled on the street, climbed inside and put on the air brake to stop it.

From Chron