Juveniles Injured in Crash While Fleeing from Police in Stolen SUV

Stolen SUV involved in crash at University and 31st on April 9, 2019. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Three juveniles were injured Monday, one seriously, after police say the stolen SUV they were in crashed into a utility vehicle as they tried to get away from officers.

Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said an officer spotted a stolen vehicle in traffic and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away.

Officers called off the chase quickly because of safety concerns.

“When you start thinking about the zone characteristics and the time of day, certainly any school zone whether it’s a college or an elementary school, you’re not going to have a high-speed pursuit through there. You have to weigh the risks with the reward for us and the reward isn’t worth this so that’s why we called it off,” said Parizek.

The driver of the SUV kept going despite police stopping their pursuit, ran a red light, and broadsided a utility vehicle at the intersection of University Ave. and 31st St. around 3:40 p.m. One of the three people in the SUV, who are aged 12 to 15, was partially ejected in the crash.

All three suffered injuries but police said one of the juveniles’ injuries were very serious.

Police have not released any of the juveniles’ names.

The intersection was closed for several hours as police conducted their investigation and crews cleaned up debris from the crash.

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