GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A 13-year-old from Gallia County, Ohio who was involved in an 18-mile police chase throughout the county has pleaded guilty to the charges.
The chase happened last month when two 13-year-old girls stole a car and led police on a chase from one end of the county to the other, even crossing into West Virginia and avoiding several stop sticks along the way.
The girls finally wrecked the car in Rio Grande, Ohio, where they were taken into custody.
Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman says earlier this week, the 13-year-old passenger pleaded guilty to complicity to fleeing and eluding, complicity to theft of a motor vehicle, and underage consumption during a hearing in juvenile court..
Following the state’s recommendation, the court ordered that the juvenile passenger serve 30 days detention in the Department of Youth Services for complicity to fleeing and eluding and for a suspended term of six months detention for the remaining felony and misdemeanor.
Wiseman said, "This young lady and the driver are very lucky that no one was hurt. Driving recklessly, eluding police officers, and having a complete and udder disregard for the law and authority will not and should not be tolerated or taken lightly.”
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Eric Mulford further stated, "The felony convictions and the accompanying imposition of thirty days detention and six months DYS time at the court’s discretion will hopefully serve as a wake-up call for this young lady.”
The teen was also ordered not to have contact with the driver of the vehicle.
The girls' names are not being released because they are juveniles.
According to reports filed by the Gallipolis Police Department and Gallia County Sheriff's Office, the chase started about 1:40 a.m. Sunday in the area of the 2100 block of Eastern Avenue.
An officer with the Police Department says they tried to pull the driver over after the vehicle drifted into the wrong lane.
The officer says the driver did not stop or slow down.
The driver led the officer to the bridge leading into West Virginia, going 80 mph in a 40 mph zone, according to deputies. They say the driver went into West Virginia, then got on the ramp to re-enter into Ohio.
Investigators say the driver failed to stop at stop signs in the construction zones on the bridge and avoided stop sticks deputies put down on the bridge.
The chase then continued out US 35, where officers say the driver was going 100 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Another set of stop sticks was dropped, and as the driver continued on Rt. 160, she avoided the stop sticks, and continued along Rt. 160 in excess of 80-90 mph in a 40 mph zone. Officers say several times, the driver was in the middle lane of the road.
According to the report, Ohio Highway Patrol dropped a set of stop sticks in the area of St. Rte. 588. Investigators say the driver went off the road to avoid the sticks and continued driving onto Indian Creek Drive, in Rio Grande, which is a dead end road.
Officers say the driver wrecked the car, and at that time, they were able to take them into custody.
The chase lasted about 15 minutes, according to deputies.
The teens told investigators they stole the car from a family friend after he fell asleep and they were trying to run away.
The driver told officers that her passenger was the "navigator" and the passenger told them that she was telling the driver to "go, go, go" and where to turn.
Both girls admitted that they were already on probation.
Investigators say alcohol and marijuana were found in the car.
The girls are both facing several felony charges, including theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing.
Lynnie Winters' family owns the cornfield where the girls crashed. She's just relieved this happened before the crop was planted.
"Thank God, there's no farming so we didn't lose any money,” she said.
Investigators say the girls told them they learned to drive with the Grand Theft Auto video game.
The Gallipolis Police Department, Gallia County Sheriff's Office and Ohio Highway Patrol are all investigating the case.
The girls were taken to a juvenile detention center in Chillicothe, Ohio. Their names are not being released because they are juveniles.