Two runaway teenagers who police said stole a car in Elgin are in critical condition in a Rockford hospital after crashing head-on with another vehicle in Loves Park Wednesday.
The car was reported stolen to Elgin police on Tuesday. A woman said that at 4 p.m. she went to move her car, which was parked on Percy Street, because of city restrictions on parking, according to an Elgin police report.
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The woman said a girl about 12 to 14 years old told her she lived across the street and would move her car for her.
The woman said she was very thankful and gave her keys to the girl, who moved the car to the other side of the street, parked it and gave back the keys.
The woman said 10 minutes later, the girl knocked on her door and asked if she could borrow the car to go to Walgreens because it was cold outside. The woman, who said she "trusted" the girl, gave her the keys. The vehicle did not return.
At 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Loves Park police were notified about a drive-off at a gas station on the 6200 block North Second Street. Police were given the license plate number of a black Toyota Corolla, which was the stolen car.
About 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, an officer saw it stopped at the intersection of Windsor Road and Second Street.
Deputy Chief Rodney Scott said the officer turned his car around to investigate. At that point, the driver of the stolen car apparently spotted the officer, went through a red light and turned south onto Second Street. Scott said the officer activated his lights and also turned south onto Second Street.
The officer then saw the Toyota move from the southbound lane into the northbound lane and then crash head on into a GMC Sierra on the 6200 block of Second Street.
The driver of the Toyota, a 13-year-old girl, was taken by ambulance to Rockford Memorial Hospital, while the front-seat passenger, a 14-year-old girl, was taken by helicopter to Rockford Memorial Hospital.
Both are in critical condition.
Two passengers in the back seat of the Toyota, 20-year-old Kyle Arrington of Rockford and 19-year-old Sherman Sawtelle of Savannah, were also hospitalized.
The driver of the GMC Sierra, Jeffrey Reisetter, 51, of Machesney Park, was charged with misdemeanor DUI, police said.
Both cars were totaled.
Scott said the incident is still under investigation. Rockford police are assisting with crash reconstruction.