Van slams into home in NW Harris County

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A van slammed into a northwest Harris County home and both caught on fire.

The incident happened at around 6 p.m. on Ballardvale & Whitinham Drive. As a result, both the van and house caught fire.

It's Hard to believe that a scratch on the arm is all 14-year-old Nia Stalbert has after she and her 12-year-old brother raced out of harm's way as a minivan plowed into their home.

Englisha Wells, their mother, says her heart nearly stopped when she got the phone call at work.

"My babies are okay. That's all I could think about. My babies are okay," Wells said.

The van literally flew into the living room where the two teenagers had been watching television moments earlier. The crash resulted in a small fire.

"I thought we were going to heaven, immediately," Joshua Stalbert said.

Stlabert and his sister say they heard a loud screech, looked out the window and saw the van coming straight towards the house.

"I was like, ‘Run! Run!' We started running and I ran into my room," Nia Stalbert said.

Neighbors say they first saw the driver race around the corner at a high rate of speed and collide with a parked white Suburban.

They say he backed up, put the van in drive; sideswipe the same vehicle again before hitting the accelerator and going airborne into the house.

"It was just like something like a movie scene. I had never seen anything like this before in my life," said neighbor Johnny Payton.

Neighbors helped the driver out of the van after the crash.

Investigators say he told the deputy he'd been drinking. He's being charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to stop and give information for allegedly hitting the parked white Suburban.

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