Cleveland teens crash stolen car, one in critical condition
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -
Cleveland Police are investigating a group of teenagers involved in a serious crash in a stolen car. It happened around 6:30 a.m. Friday on Westside Drive in Cleveland. Police say three teens in a stolen car crossed over the center line and an SUV hit them head-on.
The SUV's driver and the car's two fifteen year olds injured in the crash have been released from the hospital, but the 17-year-old car passenger is still fighting for his life. He was airlifted to Erlanger Friday where he remains in critical condition. Because they're juveniles their identities are not being released. Charges are pending as investigators piece together what happened and what role each teen played in the dangerous heist.
"From what it seems they might have gone off the road and tried to overcorrect and when they did that it turned the vehicle sideways on a two lane road," Cleveland Police Dept. Spokesperson Evie West said.
An oncoming SUV slammed into the car sending it rolling over an embankment. Cleveland Police say a fifteen year old was behind the wheel, a seventeen year old in the passenger seat, another fifteen year old in the back. All three were taken to Erlanger with serious injuries, but the seventeen year old suffered the most and had to be airlifted. He remains in critical condition.
"We're grateful for the people that have since ben released from the hospital but we're still concerned about the front passenger," West said,"We just hope he recovers from this."
While crash investigators were still reconstructing the scene, a call came into CPD from a couple reporting their white Toyota Camry had been stolen overnight from their home on 19th St. SE.
"Come to find out, there was a correlation. It was the same Toyota Camry," West said.
Police suspect they stole the Camry out of the couple's driveway sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday and when they crashed at 6:30 a.m. Friday about five miles away. The police report says they got the key out of the glove box of the unlocked Volvo parked beside it, and drove off. It's an act that's left one of them fighting for his life, and all three facing possible criminal charges.
"There are decisions that we make and thus there's consequences to them and I hate that this happened as a parent myself. I feel for the parents that have had to walk with their children through this," West said.
Now that two of the juveniles are out of the hospital, detectives are questioning them to figure out if they all took part in stealing the car. Investigators are also awaiting toxicology results to see if any of them were under the influence.