Warrenton - A 13 year-old-girl from Centralia, Wash., driving her uncle's Pontiac Gran Am led police on a high-speed chase Thursday night.

It started in Warrenton at 11:55 p.m. and ended eight minutes later in Astoria when she lost control on West Marine Drive at Basin Street and crashed.

The girl was treated at Columbia Memorial Hospital for minor injuries, according to Warrenton Police Chief Robert Maxfield, then released to her mother.

Maxfield said Sgt. Cliff Bussert noticed the car in front of a gas pump at Costco, and saw the girl walking toward it. When he pulled over to investigate, the girl allegedly took off and refused to stop as Bussert pursued her with lights flashing. She sped through the North Coast Fred Meyer parking lot, almost hitting a parked camper, then onto Neptune Drive and East Harbor Drive and across the Youngs Bay Bridge to Astoria. Maxfield said she went up Seventh Street hill and down Eighth Street, then back again before losing control and going over the bank between two metal sign posts near the Astoria Fire Station.

Maxfield said the girl, who took the uncle's car without permission and drove it here from Centralia, was charged with reckless endangering, reckless driving, felony eluding and driving without a license and insurance. He said Sgt. Bussert had no idea the driver was so young when he began the pursuit. And he said Bussert wrote in his report that he considered the fact that traffic was very light and other drivers were not likely to be endangered.

Officers from the Astoria Police Department and the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office assisted Warrenton police, Maxfield said.


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