COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Two girls led police on a car chase and crashed into a ravine on the westside of Columbus.
About 2:20 a.m. Wednesday, Franklin County Sheriff deputies attempted a traffic stop near Sullivant Avenue and Georgesville Road. The driver of a Kia Soul, believed to be stolen, fled down Fisher Road, lost control and drove through a fence and into a watery ravine of an apartment complex along Old Fisher Road near Hilliard Rome Road in the Far West neighborhood.
After the car crashed both the driver, a 12-year-old girl, and passenger, a 13-year-old girl, got out of the car immediately with their hands up. They were taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in stable condition and have since been released.
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputies told NBC4 the chase and crash happened fast — and they were unprepared for who they would find behind the wheel.
“For us to take all of the necessary officer safety precautions to only then find out once we are putting the cuffs on the age of these individuals it’s very disturbing,” said Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert.
According to the sheriff’s office, which has yet to file charges, the Kia was reported stolen from an apartment complex on the 600 block of Foxbury Court in the Westland area. Gilbert said deputies noticed the stolen plates as the girls drove down Georgesville Road, but the car sped up when deputies tried pulling them over.
The sheriff’s office has handled more than a dozen cases of stolen Kias an Hyundais since July. Gilbert said dealing with these kinds of situations takes a toll on deputies.
“It is a concern and continues to be a concern because these are members of our community,” said Gilbert. “They are 12- and 13-year-olds out at 2 o’clock in the morning in a stolen vehicle.”
Gilbert said the sheriff’s office is working with the girls’ parents to connect them with resources, if necessary, as well as making sure the girls are “fully aware of the impact this will have on their life moving forward.” He said neither girl has had previous run-ins with the sheriff’s office.