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NNSL Photo

This is the wreckage from a high-speed, single-vehicle accident that occurred on Fort Simpson's main street over the weekend. The 15-year-old driver suffered only a broken arm. The girl is facing charges of dangerous driving, impaired driving, driving without a licence and failing to stop for police, according to RCMP Sgt. Brian Winters. The investigation is continuing. - Derek Neary/NNSL photo

A harrowing ride

Girl, 15, facing charges for reckless behaviour on Fort Simpson roads

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (July 11/03) - A 15-year-old girl is fortunate to sustain only minor injuries after she raced a truck through Fort Simpson's main street early Sunday morning and crashed.

The RCMP received a report of an erratic driver in the village's subdivision around 2 a.m. on July 6, Cpl. Al Shepherd said.

After police located the vehicle, the driver made her way onto the highway. She built up her speed to approximately 160 km/h, said Shepherd. The police decided not to engage in a high-speed pursuit, he added.

"There was dust (everywhere). We couldn't see anyway, so we just backed right off," he explained.

When the driver eventually slowed down, the RCMP made attempts to overtake her but she refused to let them pass, said Shepherd. She then picked up speed again as she crossed the causeway and drove through town.

Scores of people were on the street and side-walks as a dance and the community's two bars were shutting down for the night. One person coming from the dance said it appeared as if "she had (the gas pedal) pinned to the floor."

The truck, a green Ford F-150, veered over a curb and travelled nearly a full block over an empty lot before flipping end over end twice. It came to a rest upright on the main street between the liquor store and the Nahanni Inn.

The truck's canopy remained behind in the open field. Shrubs and bushes were uprooted and an chain-link fence was flattened in the process.

Dozens of people gathered at the crash site, their faces illuminated in the dusk by the flashing lights of emergency vehicles. Some onlookers sobbed and others repeated, "Oh my God," as they watched paramedics work over the girl's body on the asphalt. She had not been wearing a seatbelt.

She was medevaced to Edmonton for treatment of her badly broken arm -- her only injury other than bumps and bruises.

The driver, whose identity cannot be revealed publicly under the Young Offenders Act, is likely to appear in territorial court during the October sitting in Fort Simpson, Winters noted.