The parade was over, and Tom Jones had parked his eye-catching ride, Swamp Mutha, inside the Art Car Museum.
He and two friends sat on the curb in front of the museum, reveling in the afterglow of their pet public art exhibition -- Houston's Art Car Parade.
As they shot the breeze just after 2 a.m., a speeding Pontiac crested the railroad tracks on Heights Boulevard. The driver was going so fast when he hit a parked Toyota Camry 50 feet away that Jones' friend Dion Laurent only had time to think one word.
The parked car launched into them, flinging Laurent against the fence and pinning Jones and his other friend.
"They were in agony," Laurent said, shuddering.
Jones, a pillar of the Art Car community and curator for the Art Car Museum, died Sunday morning from internal injuries. The other two men survived.