UPDATE: Runaway teen steals county vehicle in Dubuque, crashes i - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Runaway teen steals county vehicle in Dubuque, crashes it

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Crews on the scene of a county vehicle crash on Hwy. 20 on Wednesday. (Becca Habegger, KWWL) Crews on the scene of a county vehicle crash on Hwy. 20 on Wednesday. (Becca Habegger, KWWL)

A 17-year-old likely faces multiple charges after he allegedly stole a Dubuque County road department truck and crashed it on Highway 20 in Dubuque Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Scott Baxter with the Dubuque Police Department said the one-vehicle crash took place just after 12:30 p.m. on Highway 20 east of Devon Drive. The teen driving the truck was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque for minor injuries.

Dubuque Police said the teen was reported a runaway from Hillcrest Family Services facility on Seippel road at 11:44 a.m. Wednesday. The teen then allegedly stole a truck from the Dubuque County road department.

Police said several callers reported the teen's reckless driving as he headed east on Highway 20 from Old Highway Road. Baxter said the 17-year-old swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle at the intersection of Dodge and Devon Drive, which caused him to hit a guardrail and a poole on the south side of Highway 20.

John Bellini is the Vice President of the Anna B. Lawther Academy at Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque. He said the facility can see a number of runaway cases during the week.

"They are placed in places outside of town and they don't know the region and they are scared. They don't know what to do so they've known for years to runaway from their issues," Bellini said.

Bellini said he believes many of the kids who are running away or committing criminal acts are screaming out for assistance.

"They've been through many horrible things in a short amount of time. Most of them are not acting out to be criminal or to damage Dubuque or the society in general. They are reaching out in ways that they know. They are screaming out for assistance in ways that they know," Bellini said.

Original Story:

Dubuque police say one lane of eastbound US Highway 20/Dodge Street near Devon Drive is closed due to a crash, and officials say it involves a county vehicle that may have been stolen earlier Wednesday.

Officers say the far right lane in the eastbound lane will be closed for several hours on Wednesday afternoon for a crash investigation.

The lane is closed from Devon Drive to the St. Joe's overpass.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible.

The vehicle involved is a Dubuque County secondary roads department vehicle, Dubuque County engineer Bret Wilkinson confirmed. He said none of his crew members were involved in the crash.

The vehicle was loaded up with parts for some work and parked next to the main shop at the Dubuque County secondary roads office, just off Seippel Road. The vehicle vanished sometime Wednesday afternoon, Wilkinson said.

Lauren DeWitt contributed to this story.

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