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14-year-old's chase, crash leave DRW in dark

By Barney Lerten
Kandra Kent
Published On: Mar 11 2013 10:38:12 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 12:24:50 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent spoke with the neighbor who ended up with an SUV in his yard.

BEND, Ore. -

A 14-year-old Bend boy led police on a chase early Thursday that ended with him crashing an SUV into a power pole and phone box in Deschutes River Woods, knocking out service for hours in the subdivision just south of Bend, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

The teen was unhurt but fled after crashing the 1994 GMC Suburban into a Pacific Power pole at the corner of Baker Road and Brookswood Boulevard, Sgt. Troy Gotchy said. The boy, who was cited on several charges and later released to his parents, fled the heavily damaged SUV but was found a short time later, he said.

Kenneth Burke woke up to the SUV right outside his window.

"And I just heard a loud bang, and looked out my bedroom window and I could see smoke," Burke said.

He said he grabbed his dog and got out -- he thought his house might catch on fire.

Burke said he could see the driver of the car had gotten out and was hiding behind the SUV.

Burke said his trees and landscaping out front are destroyed--but he says he's just grateful that he and his dog didn't get hurt.

"My trees and rocks are probably what saved me from the car actually coming into the house," he said.

Burke said he's lucky it wasn't worse, and said the boy's father offered to the pay for the damage.

"(They) came over this morning and introduced themselves and apologized for their son's indiscretion and indicated that he was upset and was running away from home and he took the family vehicle," Burke said.

The teen's father confirmed to NewsChannel 21 that's what happened and said they would be getting his son some counseling.

Around 12:30 a.m., a sheriff’s detective was heading west on Knott Road, toward Highway 97, when near he began following the Suburban near 15th Street as he saw it swerving within its lane, then crossing the double-yellow center line, Gotchy said.

The detective tried to make a traffic stop near the Mountain High subdivision, on suspicion of DUII, but advised dispatchers the SUV was not pulling over, Gotchy said.

Around China Hat Road, the Suburban sped up to about 75-80 mph, Gotchy said, and the pursuit continued into DRW, joined by several deputies, a Bend police K-9 officer and an Oregon State Police trooper.

Soon, the detective advised others that that Suburban had left the road and hit the power pole. He said he was unable to follow it because the pole and several power lines had fallen onto Baker Road, Gotchy said.

A second sheriff’s deputy arrived to find the Sburuban had come to rest in the front yard of a home just west of the power pole. By then, the damaged SUV was unoccupied, but the homeowner advised deputies the driver had run toward the west on Baker Road.

A short time later, the trooper and a deputy found the teen, learning he was 14, and took him into custody without incident, Gotchy said, adding that he was alone in the Suburban and unhurt, but checked at the scene by Bend Fire paramedics.

The juvenile was cited on a felony charge of attempting to elude police, as well as reckless driving, reckless endangerment, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief and one count of criminal mischief.

Alcohol was not a factor in the incident, Gotchy said.

Pacific Power was notified and responded to the area of the outage, which also included several homes along Brookswood Boulevard north of the crash site, Gotchy said. Brookswood was closed at the intersection in both directions for several hours so repairs could be made; deputies said it had reopened by around 8 a.m.

Pacific Power reported the crash knocked out service to nearly 1,600 customers. Repairs were completed and the last customers had power restored by about 8:20 a.m., officials s.

A CenturyLink phone box also was destroyed in the crash, and their crews were expected to make repairs after Pacific Power completed theirs, Gotchy said. A CenturyLink spokeswoman said they had received no customer reports of outages in the area but a crew was sent to determine the extent of damage.

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