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Prosecutors mulling how to charge teen after alleged van theft, head-on crash

Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

DUNN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Prosecutors are still trying to decide how to charge a 14-year-old boy, after he allegedly stole a van in Durand last Tuesday and got into a head-on crash near Menomonie.

Dunn County sheriff’s investigators said the crash was most likely caused by inattentive driving.

Officials said the teen had just taken the wheel from one of the other four people in the van a quarter-mile before the crash. And he may have been setting the cruise control when the van crossed a center line on Highway 25 and slammed into an oncoming SUV.

Authorities said the SUV driver and all five people in the van were taken to hospitals, and they’re all expected to survive.

Officials said the 14-year-old stole the van from an Illinois man he knew in Durand. Nobody in the van had valid driver’s licenses, including two adults.

The Dunn County DA’s office says it’s not certain whether the case will go to juvenile or adult court – or whether the teen will be charged in Dunn County where the crash occurred, or in Pepin County where the van was stolen.