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Stolen car chase ends in messy crash at airport

About 10:30 p.m., two undercover St. Petersburg police units followed a blue, 2003 Dodge Caravan, reported stolen, as it drove north on Interstate 275. They alerted Tampa police officers as the van crossed into Tampa.

The van, which authorities said was driven by a 14-year-old, took the Tampa International Airport exit as Tampa police arrived.

When the van turned to leave the airport, Tampa officers Victor Gomez and Matt Smith started to box it in with their police cars. But one officer struck a raised median, sending him smashing into the other car.

The cars looked to be almost totaled, Wilks said, and Gomez and Smith had minor injuries.

Another officer, Dan Evers, followed the van onto the I-275 entrance ramp, and the van driver, identified as Roshawn Davis, 14, of Kenneth City, rammed into Evers' cruiser.

The van spun out, flipped over and smashed into mangroves. Davis was thrown from the vehicle and "lucky to be alive," Wilks said.

His passenger, Michael Williams, 18, of St. Petersburg, was trapped inside the van.

Both were taken into custody after Davis was treated and released from Tampa General Hospital, Wilks said.

Gomez was treated for minor injuries at Memorial Hospital and released.

Stolen car chase ends in messy crash at airport 01/29/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 4:53pm]
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