Two teenage girls were hospitalized with major injuries Saturday after a brief car pursuit with law enforcement ended in a crash.
The incident was reported shortly after 4 a.m. near the intersection of Lobo Avenue and Franklin Road in the Beachwood area. A Merced County sheriff's deputy saw a 2006 Nissan that had been reported stolen, according to Officer Luis Lara, California Highway Patrol spokesman.
The Nissan was being driven by a 17-year-old male, with two female passengers, ages 17 and 15. The deputy tried to pull the car over, but the Nissan fled westbound on Lobo Avenue.
Lara said the pursuit lasted about 20 seconds and ended after the Nissan failed to stop on Lobo Avenue at Franklin Drive. The Nissan traveled up an embankment and became airborne. The car crashed and rolled over, ejecting the 17-year-old female.
The male driver tried to flee on foot, but was captured. The two girls were flown to Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries. Their condition is unknown.
Lara said alcohol is a factor in the case. After being released from the hospital with moderate injuries, the driver was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of driving without a license, felony DUI and DUI causing injury.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org