SUV with 5 people inside may have exceeded speed limit before slamming into tree, HPD says

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Monday, June 26, 2023
Driver killed after SUV with 4 others inside slam into tree, HPD says
A driver was killed in a crash with four other occupants inside an SUV that slammed into a tree on Briar Forest Drive in west Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston police commander called it miraculous that four of the five people inside an SUV didn't sustain too severe of injuries despite the vehicle smashing into a tree on Monday.

Unfortunately, police said, the driver died when the single vehicle lost control and traveled up a grassy median in the 14200 block of Briar Forest Drive, which includes the Westside High School campus.

Two people were flown to the hospital by Life Flight, where the driver was pronounced dead.

One other passenger sustained a severe leg injury, and the two remaining occupants didn't sustain serious injuries, police said.

The crash was reported at 11:50 a.m., HPD tweeted. Assistant Chief Wyatt Martin added that the occupants ranged in age from their mid-teens to early 20s, with the driver being the oldest.

The four passengers were either 15 or 16 years old, Martin said.

Police didn't immediately give factors about what may have caused the crash, but Martin believed the Chevrolet Tahoe was exceeding the speed limit.

Martin drew on experience as a father when he spoke about the young victims.

"As a parent, it's hard to be on a scene like this because you know have your own children out there, driving around with friends, and you never want to get this phone call," Martin said at the scene. "It is miraculous that the other four occupants have as few injuries as they do. It was a very severe impact."

An investigation is ongoing.