Teens' Joy Ride Turns Into 2-State Police Chase

8:51 AM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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(ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES) -- A late-night joy ride by four teenage girls from Erwin, Tenn., turned into a two-state, high-speed chase with police that ended in a crash here.

Deputies used stop sticks to finally slow down the fleeing teens - all either 13 or 14 years old - who led officers on a 46-mile Interstate 26 chase in a stolen Jeep Liberty.

The chase ended about 4 a.m. Tuesday on Patton Avenue at Clingman Avenue when the teens crashed into a telephone pole.

The pursuit, involving Unicoi County sheriff's deputies, Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and Madison County sheriff's deputies, approached speeds up to 100 mph.

The 14-year-old driver suffered a broken wrist and head wound, said her mother, Mysti Potter.

Potter said her daughter panicked when officers began pursuit, and one bad thing led to another.

"She panicked because she doesn't have a license," Potter said. "She freaked out and ran."

Three friends in the car with her added to the stress.

"One was telling her to wreck the car and kill them all so they wouldn't have to go to jail," Potter said. "One was telling her to go, go, go, and one was telling her to stop."

Potter said her daughter was treated at Mission Hospital and then taken directly to the Madison County jail.

According to Potter, Madison officers said her daughter would be charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest, felony possession of a stolen vehicle, speeding and reckless endangerment.

The girl will be detained at a Buncombe juvenile detention facility until she goes to juvenile court to face the charges, Potter said. She said she did not know how long that would be.

"I do not want to go home without my child," Potter said. "She's my baby. She's an A and B student. She's had four C's in her entire life."

Two other girls in the car were treated for minor injuries.

Two of the juveniles were released to their parents without charges, Potter said. A third girl will face a minor charge, Potter said.

Tennessee authorities said charges are likely in that state as well.


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