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Published: Wednesday, 1/17/2007

Stolen SUV hits car, tree; rider injured

A 17-year-old North Toledo boy was seriously hurt yesterday when a stolen sport utility vehicle in which he was riding crashed head-on into a tree in the north end, authorities said.

The boy was identified by police as John Sawyer, but his first name was listed as James at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He was in critical condition after the accident, which occurred about 10 a.m., authorities said.

The driver of the SUV ran from the car and into an alley after the crash in the 800 block of Noble Street. He has not been identified, Officer Dave McClellan said.

The SUV was reported stolen about 20 minutes earlier in the Secor Road area. It was traveling north on Noble when it hit an unoccupied parked car owned by Roy Ballez, who lives across the street, the officer said.

The SUV then rode across the street and hit the tree. The SUV bounced off the tree and stopped in the street. The passenger hit the windshield and fell out, Officer McClellan said.

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