Runaway teen causes 23 crashes during Manatee County chase

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - Deputies have reopened the Cortez Road bridge to Anna Maria Island.  It was closed Tuesday morning while they investigated a police chase that resulted in several car crashes.

The suspect, a 16-year-old runaway from Arcadia, was apprehended by police after crashing a stolen truck on the bridge.

The pursuit began around 10am Tuesday when deputies located a truck that had been stolen from a business on 60th Street West.  Units followed the vehicle as it went westbound on Cortez Road and across the bridge into Bradenton Beach.

The truck then headed north on Gulf Drive into Holmes Beach and then crossed back across the bay on the Manatee Avenue bridge.  According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, that's when deputies called the pursuit off, due to the driver swerving into oncoming traffic.

A helicopter continued to monitor the truck as it headed south on 43rd Street back to Cortez Road, turning west again and heading back to the Cortez Bridge.

As the truck neared the island side of the bridge, it crashed and came to a stop and Bradenton Beach Police were able to catch the teen.

In all, there were 23 crashes caused along the route.  Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported from the crashes.

The teen has been charged with Grand Theft Auto, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Reckless Driving, and multiple counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident.