A pair of male runaways from the Clarinda Academy were taken into custody Monday, Jan. 20, following a vehicle pursuit that exceeded 130 miles per hour and a brief foot chase.
The two students, both 16, were court ordered to the Clarinda Academy by the state of Tennessee. The juveniles left the Academy on foot and were reported missing at approximately 1:50 p.m.
At 2:35 p.m. Doug Higgins of Clarinda reported his 2018 Chevrolet Malibu had been stolen from his driveway at 317 W. Chestnut. Just after receiving the report, officers with the Clarinda Police Department spotted the stolen vehicle in the area of Cardinal Drive and State Street. The driver and passenger of the vehicle matched the description of the Clarinda Academy students.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver failed to stop and proceeded west on State Highway 2. A pursuit ensued with speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour. The driver of the vehicle lost control in the area of Highway 2 and F Avenue. The car rolled several times before coming to rest.
The driver and passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot into an adjacent field. After a short pursuit, the two Clarinda Academy students were apprehended by officers and deputies of the Shenandoah Police Department, Page County Sheriff’s Department and Clarinda Police Department. The two students received minor injuries from the vehicle roll over and were transported to the Clarinda Regional Health Center by Clarinda Emergency Medical Services.
The students are being charged with felony motor vehicle theft in Page County Juvenile Court. The driver is being charged with felony eluding of a law enforcement vehicle; reckless driving; failure to obey a stop sign; speeding at 130 miles per hour in a 55-mile per hour zone; and operating a vehicle without a driver’s license.
Both students were returned to the custody of the Clarinda Academy after receiving medical treatment. The accident investigation is being conducted by the Iowa State Patrol. Higgins’ vehicle was a total loss with an estimated value of $22,000.
All reports will be forwarded to the office of Page County Attorney Carl Sonksen and Juvenile Court Services for review and decisions regarding the filing of formal charges.