By Bob Weaver

A 15-year-old Ohio youth has been charged with multiple counts after his stolen vehicle crashed in Spencer's Spring Creek yesterday after a police chase across Calhoun and Roane counties.

The youth was taken before a Roane County magistrate and charged with bringing stolen property into West Virginia, fleeing from police, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and operating a vehicle without a license, according to Sgt. Darrin Campbell,

Police were notified after the youth drove away from a service station without paying for gas at Smithville, Ritchie County.

Sr. Trooper Jeff Hunt of the Grantsville Detachment of the State Police attempted to stop the vehicle on State Route 16 in Calhoun.

The youth then fled, reaching speeds of 80 to 100 miles per hour on US 33-119 west of Spencer. Police said the youth was driving erratically and passing vehicles on double lines.

Sgt. Campbell said Trooper Hunt drew back his pursuit in fear the driver would create a safety problem.

Entering heavy traffic in Spencer, the youth turned up Market Street where he rammed a truck, sending the driver to the hospital. He was examined and released.

The driver then failed to negotiate a sharp turn on US 119 near Washington Park in Spencer near the junction of State Route 36.

A nearby resident told the Herald that the auto crashed through a fence and sank on its top in the rain-swollen creek. It then floated downstream about eighty feet.

The witness said the youth clipped a tree before landing in the stream, saying "He is lucky to get out of this alive." The t-tops flew off, revealing the car was full of duffel bags.

Witnesses at the scene said State Police, Spencer Police and the Roane County Sheriff's Department handcuffed the youth when he got to the creek bank. They sent the youth to Roane General Hospital for evaluation.

The youth reportedly stole the 1999 Camero from his mother on March 2nd in Canton, Ohio.