Friday, December 14th, 2012
Teens crash SUV after police chase
Coldwater, Columbus youths who allegedly stole vehicle arrested
By Shelley Grieshop
ST. MARYS - Two teenagers from Coldwater and Columbus allegedly stole an SUV and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase Thursday afternoon that ended in a crash with another vehicle near Celina.
No one was seriously injured in the accident at 5:40 p.m. but the teens were taken by CareFlight helicopter to a Dayton hospital on suspicion of substance abuse. The pair reportedly remained hospitalized at press time today. St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven did not release their names because they are juveniles.
The 16-year-old Coldwater boy reportedly was a passenger in the 2006 Envoy driven by the 15-year-old Columbus boy. Foxhoven did not yet know the relationship between the two youths.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., a St. Marys police officer witnessed the boys changing seats inside the Envoy while it was in traffic on Market Street between Wayne and Main streets, Foxhoven said. The vehicle then sped off, allegedly running stop signs and stop lights with the officer in pursuit.
"They headed through town in a northwesterly direction and eventually headed northbound on (state Route) 116 with two police officers following," Foxhoven said.
Speeds reached in excess of 100 mph during the pursuit en route to the Celina area. The 15-year-old drove the vehicle westbound on Howick Road through the stop sign at Celina-Mendon Road where it was struck by a northbound car, according to a report from the Wapakoneta post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
"When they crashed, both juveniles exited the vehicle on foot," Foxhoven said. "Officers apprehended them a short distance away in a plowed field."
While in custody, the boys reportedly told officers they had ingested some type of substance.
"We believe they were under the influence of something because of their behavior," Foxhoven said.
The teens were taken by squad to Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, St. Marys, and later to the Dayton hospital.
The Ford Taurus that collided with the SUV at the intersection of Howick and Celina-Mendon roads was driven by Eric J. Dull, 52, Venedocia. He was taken by squad to Van Wert County Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The SUV allegedly was stolen from a woman in Reynoldsburg who did not realize it was missing until contacted after the incident.
Foxhoven said the teens likely face several felony and misdemeanor charges for their actions. A report will be forwarded to the Auglaize County Prosecutor's Office for review.
Other agencies involved in the incident were the Auglaize and Mercer counties sheriff's departments and the Celina Police Department.