PEORIA — Three teens were believed to be involved with a two-vehicle accident that occurred late Sunday night at War Memorial Drive and Knoxville Avenue.

The teens, 15, 16 and 17, are believed to have been in a stolen car that crashed into another vehicle as they were fleeing from East Peoria police, said Amy Dotson, a Peoria police spokeswoman Monday morning.

Dotson said the 1997 Hyundai Elantra had been stolen from the 4900 block of Graceland in Peoria at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Later in the day, the car was seen by an off-duty East Peoria police officer who noticed the vehicle looked suspicious driving around neighborhoods in Washington. The officer called the East Peoria Police Department who looked up the registration and found the car was stolen. An on-duty officer met up with the off-duty officer who had followed the Elantra, according to a news release issued by East Peoria.

East Peoria police who attempted to stop the vehicle near the McClugage Bridge, Dotson said. The car refused to slow down and sped west on War Memorial Drive until it collided with the other car, causing it to roll over. The driver, she said, from that second vehicle was taken to the hospital for minor injuries after it had rolled over.

An earlier story said a witness had seen the car hit the median at Prospect Road, sending sparks flying, but the witness was actually referring to a police car.

The Elantra, she said, sustained serious damage. The three juveniles were taken to the hospital for treatment. Whether they remained there Monday or were in custody at the county's Juvenile Detention Center awaiting formal charging wasn't known.

East Peoria and Peoria police were both in the midst of their investigation and it wasn't clear which county, Peoria or Tazewell, would press charges if they were merited.

This story will be updated.

 

EARLIER VERSION:

PEORIA -- Police were on the scene late Sunday of a two-vehicle crash that occurred about 10:30 p.m. at War Memorial Drive and Knoxville Avenue.

Four people were taken to a local hospital, but the extent of their injuries was unknown. Three of them are in custody, Peoria police Lt. Cory Huff said. One suspect is believed to be at large after witness saw a man running away from the intersection just after the accident.

A 1997 Hyundai Elantra that appeared to have caused the accident reportedly was a stolen vehicle East Peoria police pursued across the McClugage Bridge, Huff said. Both vehicles appeared to have rolled in the collision, and pieces of the vehicles were scattered across the intersection and the property where one of the vehicles landed.

A witness said the Hyundai passed her on War Memorial near Prospect Avenue "going about 100 mph," and she saw it hit the median, sending sparks flying.

Police said they expected the intersection to be closed for a few hours while police process and clear the scene.

Kelsey Watznauer can be reached at kwatznauer@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @kwatznauer.