Van smashes into home in northwest Harris County


It happened in the 2800 block of Whittenham Drive.

Deputies say the driver was speeding around corner, hit a Suburban, backed up, sideswiped it then accelerated. He was going so fast he jumped curb, went airborne and right into the house.

"First I heard it, I heard the screeching," witness Daron Eubanks said.

"He was burning rubber so hard -- I had my garage door up -- you could smell the rubber all the way up into my house," witness Johnny Payton said.

"And when I ran outside to look, I could see the van inside my brother's house. The only thing I could think of was the kids," said Arvis Hopkins, brother of the homeowner, who's been identified as Ulysses Wells.

It's damage that's hard to look at.

"I was laying down watching TV, and my brother ran to the window," Nia Stalbert said.

Stalbert and her brother felt it. They were hit by flying debris.

"The glass hit my back, because I was right there by the couch," she said.

The impact was so intense the van caught fire.

"The man was lucky because all that wood that was in that truck with him, it was 2 or 3 inches from going straight through his body," Payton said.

Neighbors rushed to rescue the driver.

"We had to cut the seatbelt out and then as we were doing that, we noticed there was a fire under the hood of the van," witness Melvin Muhammad said.

Meanwhile, Stalbert hatched her own escape.

"I ran to my room and grabbed the dog and I got out the sliding door, and then I got my brother's phone and called 911," she said.

Her father was at work but came home to the mess.

"Speed limit right there says 30 so obviously he was going faster than 30," Wells said.

Most importantly, he says, his family is safe.

The driver is in the hospital for minor injuries. He's been charged with DWI and failure to stop and give information.

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