Wrong-way driver eluding police blamed for head-on collision with 4 juveniles

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THORNTON, Colo. -- Five people were injured, at least one seriously, after a wrong-way driver who was wanted in a hit-and-run and led officers on a chase collided head-on with another vehicle carrying four juveniles, the Thornton Police Department said.

At about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, officers found the vehicle of a hit-and-run suspect out of Northglenn in a shopping center at 500 E. 120th Ave.

When officers tried to stop the vehicle, the suspect took off through the parking lot and went eastbound on East 120th Avenue before going northbound in the southbound lanes of North Washington Street at a high rate of speed.

Police stopped the pursuit four blocks later, but the suspect vehicle struck a southbound vehicle head-on in the 12600 block of Washington Street, police said.

The juvenile female driver had to be extricated from the vehicle and was flown to a hospital in serious condition. Three other passengers -- two male juveniles and one female juvenile -- were taken to hospitals with varying degrees of injuries. The exact nature of the injuries was not released by police.

Ron Trujillo, the father of one of the passengers, said his son is in intensive care with multiple facial injuries and hematoma. The driver, he said, is in a coma. The other two passengers suffered minor injuries, he said.

The suspect was taken taken to a hospital in unknown condition. Police said alcohol is suspected to be involved in the crash.