Crime

Troopers find five 13-year-olds inside swerving car

Washington State Patrol troopers stopped a swerving car in South Hill early Friday and found it full of five scared 13-year-olds.

It was about 2 a.m. when a trooper noticed the car, traveling without illuminated headlights, was swerving back and forth in its lane near Sunrise Boulevard East and 110th Avenue East.

Believing the driver might be drunk, the trooper pulled the car over.

“They were just out on a joyride,” trooper Todd Bartolac said of the teens inside. “We’re very fortunate they did not cause any collisions and nobody was injured.”

This was the third time in two weeks that law enforcement officers found kids younger than 15 joyriding, which concerns the officers. The State Patrol is urging parents to keep an eye on their car keys.

It was not immediately known how the group of 13-year-olds got the car and whether it belonged to a family member.

No criminal charges are being sought.

On Aug. 18, a 14-year-old boy in a stolen car led troopers on a high-speed pursuit before crashing into two other vehicles in Tacoma. No one was seriously injured.

On Wednesday, a 14-year-old died in a crash on South Hill. He was a passenger in a car driven by a 15-year-old.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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