Police: Teen driver crashed stolen vehicle in Joliet; passenger in critical condition

A Joliet squad car sits on the street in downtown Joliet.

A 15-year-old driver was arrested after he was accused of stealing a vehicle in Joliet and crashing it into a construction tractor, which left his teenage passenger with severe injuries, police said.

Officers responded to the crash at 4:23 a.m. Friday at Ingalls Avenue and Krings Lane, according to a statement from Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.

A preliminary investigation of the crash led police to determine that a 15-year-old boy was driving a stolen Kia Soul west on Ingalls Avenue, English said. The teen driver lost control of the vehicle, which struck an unoccupied John Deere construction tractor parked on the south side of the street.

Officers found the driver and a 15-year-old passenger inside the vehicle, he said.

Officers determined the vehicle was stolen from the 1000 block of Clara Avenue in Joliet, English said, and the driver was taken into custody.

Both teens were taken to Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for injuries they suffered in the crash, English said.

The passenger was then taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where he remains in critical condition, English said.

The driver was released from the hospital, booked at the Joliet Police Department and then taken to River Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Joliet, English said.

The driver had been arrested on probable cause of motor vehicle theft and issue citations for driving without a license and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, English said.

The crash remains under investigation by the traffic unit of the Joliet Police Department.