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Chief warns against ‘car tag’ after 6 teens hurt

Hillsboro’s police chief is warning teens not to play “tag” with their vehicles after six teens chasing each other were injured Tuesday when one of their vehicles slammed into a tree at a downtown intersection.

“Not only should they consider their own welfare and welfare of those who are with them, but the welfare of people who share the street with them,” Chief Dan Kinning said.

None of the injuries was thought to be life-threatening.

Kassidy Trapani, 18, and Ryleigh Peterson, 13, were taken by ambulance to Hillsboro Community Hospital with moderate injuries.

Jasmine Copenhaver, 15, and Anna Baugh, 16, were taken by ambulance to St. Luke Hospital, Marion, with lesser injuries.

Parents took Kolton Harms, 17, to St. Luke and Trinity Bisbee, 15, to HCH, Kinning said.

A Volkswagen Beetle driven by Trapani sustained extensive damage and had to be towed after it wrapped around the tree. A Dodge Dakota driven by Harms sustained damage to its front end and undercarriage.

Harms had been following Trapani, according to an official police accident report. Both vehicles had been turning left onto Date Street from Grand Avenue when they collided, sending the Beetle into the tree.

“One car went short, and one went wide,” Kinning said.

Both drivers were charged with reckless driving, which carries a potential penalty of5 to 90 days in jail, a fine of $25 to $500 or both. Trapini also was charged with speeding, and Harms also was charged with following too closely.

Additional charges are possible, Kinning said. He said the teens were “not completely truthful and cooperative” during the investigation.

A seventh student, Fillow Cruz, 13, fled the scene and had to be tracked down by Hillsboro firefighters at his home. He was checked by ambulance attendants but did not report any injuries.

The Beetle was owned by Michael Angevine, 312 E. A St., and the truck by Willard Harms, 1559 50th Rd. All of the teens were listed as having different Hillsboro addresses.

Eric Meyer

Author: Eric Meyer

Associate professor of journalism and instructor for this course. A one-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Meyer is a more-than-40-year veteran journalist who has planned Page One coverage at a metropolitan daily, started and eventually sold an award-winning online news and e-commerce website, currently owns and publishes three award-winning community newspapers and has served as a consultant on new media and as a visiting professor of social media.