Local News

Troopers: Teen led chase in stolen car

Posted February 2, 2009 11:49 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A 14-year-old driver and 16-year-old passenger led authorities on a high-speed chase on Interstate 40 Monday morning, ending with a wreck at the U.S. Highway 70 exit, state troopers said.

Alisa Welty, 16, of Clayton, and the younger girl – whose name was not released due to her age – met Monday while staying at a den mother's house in Johnston County, troopers said. The woman, whose name was not released, was to watch the girls for the day as part of the Alternative Life program, out of Durham.

One of the girls quickly stole the keys to the woman's gold Toyota Corolla, and both took off in it, troopers said.

They drove to Raleigh, and a Wake County sheriff's deputy noticed the 14-year-old driving recklessly on South Saunders Street around 11 a.m. The Toyota had been reported as stolen.

The deputy activated his lights and tried to pull them, but the 14-year-old drove over the median and started towards Garner. The deputy lost sight of them, but other deputies picked the chase again on I-40, near U.S. 70.

The car was traveling at about 100 mph on the exit ramp from eastbound I-40 onto U.S. 70 when the driver lost control, and the car went over a guard rail and into some trees, authorities said.

Both teens suffered wounds serious enough for them to be taken to WakeMed's trauma unit, but they were both expected to be OK, troopers said.

Both girls were charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle. The driver was also charged with driving without a license, reckless driving, going 100 in a 65-mph zone and felony attempt to elude arrest.

Traffic on U.S. 70 was reduced to one lane in the area until about 12:30 p.m. while authorities investigated the case and removed the car.

Welty was being cared for by a foster mother in Durham, and the 14-year-old has been in and out of foster-care system and has documented drug problems, troopers said. They met for the first time Monday.

Their den mother regularly watches troubled children on a day-to-day basis as needed, troopers said. Neither of the teens lived with her.