BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A 4-year-old who had recently moved to Houston with her family died in a crash when her family's car collided with an 18-wheeler and plunged off I-10 East Wednesday morning.
Around 6:30 a.m., first responders found the two-door car off the road, close to the river.
Authorities say both the 18-wheeler and the car were traveling westbound on the freeway at Crosby Lynchburg Road when the truck stopped for traffic slowing down in the second lane and ended up sliding into the car's lane.
The impact forced the car into the guard rail, causing the vehicle to fall and land below on the embankment.
The little girl's father, 35, was cut out of the car and flown to the hospital in serious condition. Her mom was safe.
Sheriff's deputies took her to the hospital so she could be with her husband.
The mother, 24, told authorities that her daughter was in the back seat. Officials found the 4-year-old underneath the car. She died at the scene.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the child was not in a child safety seat or seat belt.
"The mom, of course she is very distraught. She has church members here at the scene to console her, her husband is in the hospital," said Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Eduardo Rivera.
The 18-wheeler driver stayed after the crash.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the family was on the way home since the parents work overnight.
The mom said she and her family are from Honduras and have only been in Houston for about a month. She said they moved here to give their daughter a better life.
Family friend Elvin Hueso said he heard about the wreck and immediately rushed over. He described the dad as a faithful churchgoer.
"He is wonderful. A person who always went to church. He studied the word of God," Hueso said.
Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office said it's too early in the investigation to determine if charges will be filed.
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4-year-old girl killed in crash on I-10 was not restrained in child safety seat: deputies