PEORIA —A Pekin woman in a stolen car was arrested early Friday after allegedly fleeing police at more than 70 mph on a residential street before plowing into a house.
Shortly before 3 a.m. , a Peoria County sheriff's deputy in the 1500 block of West Garden Street. spotted a gold Chevrolet Cavalier that had been reported stolen out of Pekin, according to a sheriff's office report. The deputy followed the car, along with another deputy, to the intersection with Southwest Jefferson Avenue, where the car pulled over. The deputy activated his emergency lights, then commanded the driver to turn off the car, and the driver complied, the report stated. He also told the driver and an occupant to put up their hands, which they did, according to the report.
But moments later, the ignition fired back up, and the car fled southwest on Jefferson Avenue, the report stated. As the two deputies pursed, the Cavalier accelerated to more than 70 mph, the report stated. Approaching the dead end at Western Avenue, the car drove through a red light and tried to turn south onto Western Avenue, police said. However, the car veered off Western Avenue, across West Hayes Street and over a vacant lot before slamming into a house, police said.
The house's siding and a fence were damaged, as was a gas meter, police said. Because of a small gas leak, police called Ameren. No one was inside the residence, which police believed to be vacant.
Police separated and handcuffed the driver and passenger. A computer check showed the driver, Luv Karnes, 43, of Pekin had been driving on a suspended license, police said. She said relatives had given her the car, so she had "no idea why it would be reported stolen," the report stated.
Further, Karnes said she was not responsible for fleeing from police. After the initial traffic stop, she said, her passenger had turned the ignition, then stepped on Karnes' foot to punch the gas, the report stated. The passenger then kept her foot down atop Karnes' as the car sped away, according to the report. After police found a glass pipe in her pocket, she denied it was hers, claiming the passenger had given it to her, the report stated.
The passenger told police that she did not know the car had been stolen. Police let her go.
Karnes was booked on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding, possession of drug equipment, criminal damage to property and driving while license suspended. She also was written traffic citations for speeding, disregarding a traffic-control device, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage.