Police say the girl suffered a broken neck and two broken vertebrae in her back.
Lincoln police say the girl told them 18-year-old Brian Cornelsen became enraged as they drove and talked late Sunday.
Capt. Jim Davidsaver says Cornelsen punched her and locked the
car doors. Davidsaver says the girl reported that Cornelsen told
her he wouldn't let her out until he hit something.
The car soon rammed the tree.
In addition to a charge of domestic assault, Cornelsen also faces a charge of false imprisonment. A jailer said Cornelsen remained in custody on Monday. Cornelsen's lawyer from a previous case said he could not comment.