3-year-old in critical condition after family riding in Uber was involved in crash, HPD says

Tuesday, March 5, 2024
3-year-old critical after crash involving Uber ride, HPD sayd
Houston police say a suspected drunk driver tried to flee after hitting an Uber near the North Freeway at West Road, injuring a 3-year-old.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 3-year-old girl is in critical condition and her father is also hurt after the Uber they were riding got involved in a crash then a possible chase.

Houston police say a possible drunk driver tried to flee after hitting an Uber near the I-45 North Freeway and West Road Sunday night. Mom, dad and their 3-year-old daughter were inside the Uber.

According to HPD, a white F-350 pickup truck and a white minivan -- which was operating as an Uber at the time -- got into a crash near the intersection of Gulf Bank at Sweet Water Road in north Houston Sunday evening around 8:15 p.m.

When they got into the crash with the truck, police say the van tried to box in the F-350 truck, but the driver of the truck took off, heading north on the North Freeway, and that's when the Uber driver started following him.

ABC13 obtained surveillance video of what happened next. You can see from the video that the F-350 truck made a quick U-turn, hitting a column and the curb before heading south on the North Freeway. What you don't see is that the minivan, due to how fast it was traveling, ended up crashing into the traffic control box, according to police. It did not make the turn.

Officials said the driver of the truck kept going but was eventually caught and brought back to the scene. Police said the driver was showing possible signs of intoxication.

"They were somehow following each other, I don't want to say pursuing, but they were somehow following and it seemed like the white van was either trying to maintain visual of him or something, not sure," Cmdr. Michael Chaney said. "But they were both coming through this U-turn when the collision started to happen."

ABC13 contacted Uber, which gave the following statement: "Road safety is a critical focus for us. We have removed the driver's access to the platform while this investigation is ongoing and will assist police however we can."

So far, neither the Uber driver, nor the driver of the F-350 has been charged. Houston police say in discussions with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, it was determined that more investigation was needed. Both drivers could be responsible, but it's too early to make that determination.