APD statement on the crash injuring seven teenagers early this morning

Press release from Alachua Police Department

On Tuesday, May 3, at approximately 4:13 a.m., officers with the Alachua Police Department observed a blue Mercury 4-door vehicle driving erratically in the area of NW 159th Place. Officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle in order to effect a traffic stop. The vehicle continued traveling through the neighborhood while increasing speed. Disregarding a red illuminated traffic signal, the vehicle crossed 4 lanes of NW US HWY 441 on NW 141st street (Main Street). Due to the blatant disregard for traffic control and the risk of danger to other motorists, the original officer ceased the attempt at stopping the vehicle.

Officers continued looking for the vehicle in the area of CR 235. Another officer met the vehicle, which was traveling at a high rate of speed heading southbound on CR 235. The officer turned around and attempted to catch up to the vehicle; however, due to the high rate of speed, the officer lost visual contact and subsequently deactivated their emergency equipment. Due to the erratic and unsafe driving behavior, the officer continued searching for the vehicle, which was later found to have crashed in the tree line along CR 235. The driver and occupants of the vehicle, all juveniles, suffered multiple degrees of injury.

The crash is being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol. Charges are pending.