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Archive for Saturday, November 16, 1996

HIGH SPEED CHASE ENDS WITH IOWA CUTOFF

November 16, 1996

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A high-speed chase in the early morning hours Friday started with a traffic violation in Ottawa and stopped abruptly at Sixth and Iowa.

A joyride gone haywire ended loudly early Friday, as two Ottawa youths led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase into Lawrence and eventually crashed into a guard rail at Sixth and Iowa.

The car's owners -- the parents of the driver -- did not know the car was gone until Ottawa police, the Kansas Highway Patrol and Lawrence police tracked it down. The car was allegedly taken without permission.

The 14-year-old juveniles were taken into custody by Ottawa police. It was not known Friday whether formal criminal complaints would be filed against the juveniles, who were later released to their parents.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, Ottawa police attempted to pull over a 1984 Chrysler for a traffic violation. The car took off, heading north out of Ottawa on U.S. Highway 59, Ottawa police Capt. Charles Bowling said.

About 15 minutes later, with Ottawa police and highway patrol in tow, the car raced into Lawrence and continued north on Iowa Street.

Lawrence police attempted to block off as many connecting streets as possible, staving off traffic dangers as the convoy shot through one of the city's busiest thoroughfares.

Nate Chambers, Kansas University sophomore and resident of McCollum Hall's seventh floor, was awakened by the chase and accompanying sirens. He said he couldn't get his glasses on fast enough to see the lead car through his window, which overlooks 19th and Iowa.

"Cop after cop after cop kept coming," said Chambers, estimating speeds of 75 to 80 mph. "They weren't out for a Sunday ride."

One of the intersections partially blocked was Sixth and Iowa. By the time the youths made it there, very little room remained for a possible escape. Turning east then banking back north, the car skidded into the guard rail on the north edge of Sixth Street. The juveniles were not seriously injured.

Ottawa police transported the juveniles back to Ottawa.

Franklin County Attorney Larry Wright said Friday he had not yet received information regarding the chase or possible criminal complaints against the juveniles.

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