Five people were killed Saturday when a van carrying five family members burst into flames after colliding with another car on a rural highway north of Houston, authorities said.
Two others were in critical but stable condition, including a woman ejected from the van following the accident outside a Montgomery County subdivision where the intersection has a history of residential concern.
“They are expected to come through,” Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Angela Fountain said of the survivors.
Four were pronounced dead at the scene after the accident, which happened just before noon Saturday. Another died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Names or ages of the victims were not immediately released, but Fountain said none were children. She said four people in the van were visiting from Oklahoma, and the driver was from Magnolia.
The van burst into flames after the wreck, leaving the van’s driver and two others trapped inside, authorities said. The other survivor was the driver of a Chevy Cobalt that collided with the van, which state troopers said was trying to cross Texas Highway 249.
A female passenger in the sedan died.
DPS Trooper Winson Pham told The Courier of Conroe the accident was among the most horrific he has seen on the job. Nearby residents watched as investigators and emergency crews worked the accident on the highway and Patridge Circle.
Patridge Circle serves an entrance to the Cripple Creek Farms subdivision. Jeff Clapp, whose father-in-law lives on Patridge Circle, said the intersection has been the site of several accidents.
“When you drive out of the neighborhood and get out in the highway, you’ve got to move across quickly or drivers won’t see you,” Clapp told the newspaper. “Every other weekend, people come out and drive about 100 miles per hour or race down the highway.”
Pham said two van passengers were ejected from the back seat on impact before the vehicle caught fire. The other three victims in the van were men, Fountain said.
Magnolia is about 45 miles northwest of Houston.