Oklahoma teen in stolen Camaro leads police on high-speed chase
SUMMIT COUNTY – An Oklahoma teen in a stolen Camaro led local police on a 20-minute chase late Friday from Dillon into Clear Creek County. The teen-ager and his passenger, 16, also of Oklahoma, are in custody today at Montview Juvenile Detention Center. They face a multitude of possible charges, according to officers.
Speeds reached 100 mph as the 15-year-old driver attempted to outrun Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Trooper James Colyer, who was also driving a Camaro.
In his desperate effort to escape, the teen narrowly missed hitting a Summit County sheriff’s sergeant. The youth finally stopped and turned himself over at the base of the east side of Loveland Pass, telling Colyer “he was scared,” the officer said.
“It was amazing how well things went, considering you have an unlicensed driver in pretty much a muscle car,” Colyer said. “Sgt. Padilla could have been hit. We could have had other cars hit. I’m just glad nobody got hurt.”
That Colyer happened upon the stolen car at all was a bit of a fluke. He pulled up behind the black Camaro at the stoplight at Highway 6 and Lake Dillon Drive. Colyer said he routinely runs the license plates of cars he sees at stoplights, “for the sole purpose of seeing if they’re stolen.”
“A stolen hit came back immediately,” he said.
Colyer described the dizzying course of events. He said he turned on his lights, and the Camaro turned onto Lake Dillon Drive. But the teen-aged driver didn’t stop. He took off. Colyer went into pursuit.
The stolen Camaro was a ’94. Colyer’s patrol car is a 2000 Camaro. “He was going to outrun me,” the trooper said.
The car circled around the streets of Dillon, then got back on Highway 6 and headed toward Keystone. Sheriff’s Sgt. Padilla was on the outskirts of Dillon, waiting on the side of the road to throw stop-sticks that would deflate the stolen Camaro’s tires.
The teen-ager was behind two other cars and went around them by driving on the shoulder of the road – where Padilla was standing. The sergeant had to move quickly out of the way.
The Camaro zoomed down Highway 6, with the CSP Camaro behind it, both reaching 100 mph. On winding Loveland Pass, speeds dropped to 50 mph, but the chase continued over the top and down, nearly to the Loveland Ski Area.
Colyer doesn’t yet know the complete story of the teen-agers’ journey, though he said one of the teens told him the Camaro was the second vehicle they’d stolen on their trip. The first, he said, was taken in their home state of Oklahoma.
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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