NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — A 15-year-old female and 16-year-old male are in custody after crashing a stolen vehicle into a bus carrying the Baldwin Wallace University swim team.
On the morning of Saturday, January 28, the Cuyahoga County Automated License Plate Reader System notified police departments that a 2021 gray Kia Forte that had been reported stolen was seen traveling south on Stearns Road at the intersection of Cook Road in Olmsted Township.
Officers from the North Olmsted Police Department responded to the area in an attempt to locate the vehicle.
A short time later, a Fairview Park officer spotted a vehicle matching the description of the Kia traveling eastbound on I-480 at a high speed. While observing the vehicle, the officers also noticed the passenger side rear window had been broken out.
The officer got behind the vehicle, confirmed that it was the Kia that had been stolen and reported by the plate reader system and attempted to pull the vehicle over.
The Kia sped away from the officer in the high-speed lane and led a high speed chase on I-480 east for approximately three and a half minutes. While attempting to cut across four lanes of traffic near the State Route 176 exit, the Kia clipped the rear of a bus and then struck a retaining wall bringing the vehicle to a stop.
No passengers on the bus were injured.
The passengers in the Kia attempted to flee the scene on foot. A 15-year-old female was apprehended and arrested 10 minutes after the crash. A 16-year-old male was found approximately an hour later and taken into custody.
Baldwin Wallace spokesperson Shawn Salamone released this statement to 3News in the wake of the incident, "We’re so thankful our BW students were not hurt and grateful to the emergency responders who made sure they were safe. Although the accident delayed their trip to compete, they were able to move to a new charter bus and continue on their way."
Officers from Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Westlake, Independence, Parma and Brooklyn Heights as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in resolving the incident.
After an initial investigation was conducted, it was determined that the 15-year-old female was at home on pretrial home detention through Cuyahoga County Juvenile court when she cut off her mandated ankle monitor bracelet and ran away.
She then contacted the 16-year-old male to pick her up. The male traveled to Olmsted Township in the stolen Kia.