Teen driver dies after crashing stolen car

Driver dies after crashing stolen vechile
Posted at 6:46 AM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 19:41:55-05
A 17-year-old is dead after taking Brown Deer police officers on an early morning chase.

The pursuit ended when the teen crashed into a semi truck at N. 43rd St. and Good Hope Road.

The teen was allegedly driving a van that was reported stolen Wednesday afternoon near MLK and Locust in Milwaukee.

Around 5:00 a.m. Thursday, Brown Deer police attempted to pull the stolen van over near the 7900 block of N. Sherman Blvd. The driver traveled less than a mile before crashing.

"I just heard like two big booms," resident Stephanie Trotter said. "It was really loud so I looked out my window and saw the crash."

The impact was so powerful, the semi truck tipped over and spilled fuel onto the roadway. The intersection of N. 43rd St. and Good Hope Road was shut down until about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

"I opened up the front window and there's a semi truck almost in my front yard," resident Isaiah Irby said. "I put my clothes on and went outside to see if anyone needed help."

Irby says he watched as officers tried to rescue the semi truck driver.

“When they went to take the guy out of the semi truck, it took them over 15 tries to break the window," Irby said.

Eventually that driver was pulled to safety.

A spokesperson for the Brown Deer Police Department says the driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, residents we spoke with don't blame police for the accident.

"The police were doing their job trying to catch somebody," Irby said. "The guy was being an idiot by doing 100 miles per hour."

However, Irby does wonder whether the pursuit could have been handled differently.

He asked, "What about using the pit maneuver? What about spike strips?"

According to radio traffic, it appears the pursuit was over less than a minute after officers tried to stop the driver.

It's unclear whether that would have been enough time for officers to pit the vehicle or attempt to stop it using spike strips.

The crash is being investigated by Wisconsin State Patrol. 

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