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Fleeing teen causes 23 crashes


From the Bradenton Herald:

A 16-year-old boy in a stolen pickup truck caused 23 vehicle accidents Tuesday morning in West Bradenton and Anna Maria Island before finally crashing on the Cortez Bridge, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The joy ride closed Cortez Bridge for nearly four hours, bringing traffic in the area to a near standstill.

Francisco Sanchez Ibarra, a runaway from Arcadia, was riding a bicycle about 10 a.m. when he spotted a red Ford F350 truck that had just been dropped off at Tint Shark, according to the sheriff's office.

Ibarra hopped into the truck and drove west on Cortez Road.

"The owner was there to get his windows tinted and his vehicle was parked there ready be worked on," said Dave Bristow, a sheriff's office spokesman.

The sheriff's office reported the following sequence happened next:

"Deputies pursued the truck over the Cortez Bridge into Bradenton Beach. The suspect vehicle turned right on Gulf Drive and headed north to Manatee Avenue West. The truck turned right on Manatee Avenue in Holmes Beach and headed east back into Bradenton."

The pursuit was reportedly called off on the Manatee Avenue Bridge near the causeway when the truck started veering into oncoming traffic. The MCSO helicopter kept surveillance on the truck, which continued east on Manatee Avenue to 43rd Street West, and the chase soon resumed.

The truck went south on 43rd to Cortez Road and west on Cortez Road back to the Cortez Bridge.

"He just drove in a loop," Bristow said.

On his second pass over

the Cortez Bridge, the vehicle, which now had flat tires from stop sticks -- came to a stop and Ibarra was arrested by Bradenton Beach police, according to the sheriff's office.

The bridge did not reopen to traffic until about 2 p.m.

During the chase, 23 crashes were caused by Ibarra, including nine on the Cortez Bridge, according to the sheriff's office.

Go to bradenton.com for the full story.



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