11-year-old girl thrown under steering wheel in crash in northeast Harris County

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 11-year-old girl was injured in a fiery two-car crash in northeast Harris County after she was thrown under the steering wheel, witnesses say.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that a white Jeep Cherokee and a gray van crashed head-on down Vickery, a small street off Orange Grove and the Eastex Freeway.

After the Jeep veered off the road, it crashed into a fence and burst into flames. The driver of that vehicle escaped.

Nearby neighbors also ran out and helped him get away from his burning Jeep.

A woman and three children, including the 11-year-old, were in the van. She had the most severe injuries after being thrown under the steering wheel.

"We saw that the little child was under the steering wheel. One of the girls in the back was bleeding and there was screaming," said Maria Carbajal, who helped the crash victims.

Sheriff Gonzalez tweeted she was in 'bad shape' but first responders came to her aid to stabilize her. She was transported to the hospital.

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2 cars crash nearly head-on in northeast Harris County

"It was a pretty wicked crash. So we don't know, speed must have maybe been a factor or distracted driving, but we'll look at all that. But you know, people just need to slow down. This is a neighborhood street, a lot of people are en route to school. This could have been tragic for someone today," said Sheriff Gonzalez.

Witnesses say they didn't see the children in the van wearing seat belts.

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