Driver crashes truck into Salvation Army sign during reported police chase

16-year-old girl arrested for evading arrest with a vehicle

Driver crashes truck into Salvation Army sign during reported police chase
EMS evaluate person near crashed pickup truck just north of Downtown Tyler. (Source: Erika Bazaldua KLTV)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An investigation is underway after a 16-year-old girl allegedly ran a red light, fled from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputy who tried to make a traffic stop on her, and crashed a pickup truck on North Broadway Avenue early Tuesday morning in Tyler.

Larry Christian, a spokesman for the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, said the pursuit started at 12:49 a.m. Tuesday. He said an SCSO deputy was stopped at North Broadway and Loop 323 intersection when a red Ford F-150 with Oklahoma license plates “blew through” the stoplight without even slowing down.

After the SCSO deputy turned on his overhead lights and tried to make a traffic stop, the driver of the pickup allegedly fled. Christian said the driver made several turns at high speed and even accelerated when the deputy turned on his siren.

The driver of the pickup ran several stop signs during the pursuit, Christian said. At one point, the driver allegedly went the wrong way on Bow Street. Eventually, the SCSO deputy briefly lost sight of the F-150 after the driver made it back to North Broadway Avenue.

The truck slammed into the Salvation Army sign, outside their main building on North Broadway Avenue, around 1 a.m., Christian said. He added that it seemed like she was unable to navigate the turn there.

EMS, Tyler Police, and Smith County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene.

EMS personnel took the 16-year-old girl to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, Christian said. After she was cleared, she was taken to a juvenile detention center, where she was booked in on an evading arrest or detention in a vehicle charge.

Christian said that authorities contacted the girl’s mother, who lives in the Grand Prairie area, and found that the 16-year-old girl came to Tyler to see a boy without getting permission to do so.

Christian thanked Tyler PD officers for assisting the sheriff’s department by doing the investigation into the pickup’s crash into the Salvation Army sign.

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