Driver, 14, with children in stolen pickup truck, involved in 3-vehicle crash in west Houston, police say

HOUSTON – A former Harris County commissioner with a long history of service to Houston was identified by Houston Police Tuesday as the victim still hospitalized after a horrific crash Monday afternoon.

89-year-old Liz Ghrist is listed in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital according to police.

A 14-year-old was behind the wheel of a stolen pick-up truck with three other children passengers when the violent crash happened.

The owner of the stolen vehicle, Matthew Gill, told officers he went into The Halal Guys located on 11700 Westheimer Sunday night and left his car running.

“I noticed two people outside lurking around my truck, and before I knew it, I looked at my car and it was being backed out. It caught me really off guard, I didn’t know what to do I ran outside in disbelief,” Gill told KPRC 2.

On Monday, an off-duty police officer on his way home from work noticed a green pickup truck near the 1500 block of Sam Houston Parkway with several young children inside, police said. The officer contacted dispatch and was told that the truck was reported stolen on Sunday, police said.

When the officer tried to pull the truck’s driver over, the driver seemed alarmed and sped off at a high rate of speed, police said.

Two vehicles coming from opposite directions at the intersection of Seagler Road and Briar Forest Drive were struck by the pickup truck, police said.

There were a mother and son in one of the vehicles that were struck and an 89-year-old woman in the other one, police said. She was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries and is in critical condition, according to HPD.

“It’s a miracle we’re walking away,” Joanna Boyer said.

The minors in the green pickup truck ranged from ages 11 to 14, police said. Officials said the children were also taken to the hospital.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare, who heads the vehicular crimes unit, said the juvenile driver is facing charges of endangering a child, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against the elderly and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The juvenile passenger is facing a charge of evading on foot.

They are in Harris County Juvenile Probations Authority’s custody.

How KPRC 2 handles naming minors

How it works: There is no law preventing media from reporting the names of juveniles, but KPRC 2 makes every effort to protect anyone under 18 years old.

To know: There are exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances such as a heinous crime or someone under 18 being tried as an adult.

What we did in this instance: We did not release the names of the minors involved.

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