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Stolen SUV Pursuit Ends in Tragic Crash, Claiming Lives of Four Teenagers

By:Sharla Fletcher/WDNews/April 28,2024/9:10A.M.CDT

Newberry – (WDNews) A pursuit initiated by the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office took a devastating turn after an SUV, reported stolen from Gainesville, triggered a chase, as revealed by deputies. Detected by a license plate reader hours later, the stolen vehicle set off a sequence of events that ended in tragedy.

Upon confirmation of the stolen status, a sheriff’s deputy tailed the SUV, signaling for backup as it became apparent that multiple individuals occupied the vehicle, as reported by investigators.

With reinforcements in place, deputies made an attempt to halt the SUV, only for it to momentarily slow before accelerating away. Despite reaching speeds of 111 mph, deputies faced limitations due to safety mechanisms in their patrol vehicles, preventing further acceleration.

Unable to match the pace of the fleeing vehicle, deputies reluctantly withdrew from the pursuit, ceding control to a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.

In a decisive move, the trooper executed a PIT maneuver, causing the SUV to overturn and collide with a cement pole, resulting in a tragic outcome. Two teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene, while two others succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

Authorities disclosed that among the occupants, two teenagers were found wearing ankle monitors, while three were wanted on active warrants, underscoring the complexity and severity of the situation.