The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 26, 2011

2 boys hurt in crash

WESTVILLE — Two juveniles driving a stolen minivan were hospitalized Monday following a serious accident east of Westville.

The victims — one 12 years old and the other 14 years old — were ejected from the vehicle during the accident, which happened around 9 a.m. Monday on County Road 1750E, a little more than a mile south of Clingan Lane.

The boys were taken from the scene by ambulance and transported to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. A spokeswoman for the hospital had no information on the boys Monday afternoon, but the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department indicated both were listed in critical condition.

The name of the 12-year-old boy who has been identified was not released Monday because of the boy’s age. There was no other  information regarding the other accident victim.

The dangerous crash ended several hours of events that began the night before in Hoopeston.

Capt. Rod Kaag, chief investigator for the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department, said the 12-year-old is believed to have stolen a vehicle from a home in Hoopeston. Investigators did not have a timeline as to when the vehicle may have been taken, Kaag said.

The vehicle was then involved in a traffic accident around 5:30 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Illinois Route 1 and U.S. Route 136.

Kaag said witnesses in interviews said they believed the driver of the stolen vehicle — who fled the scene of the crash on foot — was young, potentially 12-14 years old.

In addition, the clothes worn by the driver of the stolen vehicle in the 5:30 a.m. accident match those worn by the 12-year-old boy involved in the second accident later in the morning along County Road 1750E.

Also, Kaag said the minivan that wrecked on County Road 1750E was stolen from a residence located just three-tenths of a mile from the 5:30 a.m. crash.

Deana Newell lives along County Road 1750E and was tending to her garden Monday morning at the time of the accident.

“I don’t even pay attention to the traffic as they go by,” she said, adding that something sounded different that caught her attention.

She looked up to see the van rolling over at least two or three times before coming to a rest upright in the field.

Her husband, Roger, estimated the van was going as fast as 70-80 mph when it hit the gravel portion of the roadway.

The accident occurred near a place where the road surface charges from pavement to gravel.

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