Teen who allegedly stole vehicle dies after Kokomo police pursuit ends in crash

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KOKOMO, Ind. – The Kokomo Police Department says the teenage driver of a stolen vehicle died after a pursuit ended in a crash on Tuesday.

Officers say the Battleground Police Department made them aware of the stolen vehicle, a black Honda Civic, at about 7 a.m. They were also told that the individual in possession of the Civic was possibly armed and dangerous and en route to Kokomo to possibly do harm to an individual.

At about 11:56 a.m., officers reportedly spotted the vehicle in the area of Main and Vaile. Police say they attempted to stop the driver, but the person refused and a pursuit ensued.

“It’s extremely unfortunate it ended this way, but obviously the concern was the subject was here to do harm to someone else and that was the reason,” Kokomo Police captain Tonda Cockrell said.

According to police, the chase ended in the 500 block of South Dixon Road, where the stolen vehicle collided with a black Ford Taurus. Police say the driver of the Civic, 15-year-old Travis L. Abston of Battleground, was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the Taurus was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

FOX59 spoke with a resident, Eric Stovall, who heard the crash and ran over to scene to be with the man who was transported to the hospital.

"One man in the car right there was crawling out of his vehicle, obviously in pain. He was complaining of chest pains,” said Stovall. “And we ran over there to be with him and just comfort him while we waited for ambulances to arrive. And seems like he'll be alright."

Police confirm the driver hit is expected to make a recovery.

As of Tuesday afternoon, police said it was unclear whether Abston was actually intending to hurt someone, who that person was, or how Abston was intending to do it.

Police and the Howard County Coroner's Office are actively investigating the incident. Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact Officer Troy Hintz (765) 456-7100 or the KPD Hotline at 765-456-7017. You may qualify for a cash reward by reporting your anonymous tip to Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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