News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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October 25, 2011

BREAKING: Gibault walk-away dies following crash of stolen truck

TERRE HAUTE — The rear-seat passenger in a stolen pickup truck that crashed while fleeing an Indiana State Police trooper has died of his injuries. The crash occurred late last evening in the city limits of Terre Haute on U.S. 41 (Third Street) northbound at College Street.

Therlow Pope IV, 17, most recently of the Gibault Children's Services of Terre Haute and originally from Gary, was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of today at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Pope was first taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital and later airlifted to Methodist Hospital for extensive injuries suffered in the crash.

His family has been notified.

Pope and two other 17-year-old male juveniles are suspected of one attempted carjacking with battery and one actual carjacking with battery Monday evening in southern Vigo County. The trio allegedly walked away from the Gibault Children's Services facility in southern Vigo County before the crime spree. The driver is currently in the Vigo County Jail and the front-seat passenger remains in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis suffering head and facial injuries.

The names of the other juveniles are not being released at this time, due to ISP policy.

Criminal charges are pending against the surviving teenagers, according to State Police.

ISP Trooper Ted Robertson reported that he was dispatched to Gibault at 8:09 p.m. on a report of three males who had walked away from the facility headed northbound toward the city.

At 9:56 p.m., Vigo County Sheriff’s deputies and ISP troopers responded to the Walmart store on South U.S. 41 for a reported battery and attempted carjacking. Responding officers found the male victim with injuries to his head and face. The victim was able to break free and drive away, but the description of his attackers matched the description of the suspects who walked away from the Gibault facility. The victim was treated and released at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

At 11:12 p.m., ISP troopers and sheriff’s deputies responded to a battery and carjacking at the White Castle restaurant at 4340 South U.S. 41. Officers found the male victim in the parking area with head and facial injuries. The victim’s truck, a blue 1994 Chevrolet pickup, allegedly was taken by three teenagers matching the Gibault walk-away descriptions. The victim was taken to Regional Hospital for treatment. The suspects and truck were last seen northbound on U.S. 41.

ISP Senior Trooper Joe Rutledge spotted the suspects and the stolen vehicle northbound on U.S. 41 at Margaret Avenue in Terre Haute. Rutledge attempted to stop the truck, using his emergency lights and siren, but the vehicle continued northbound on highway. At 11:14 p.m., the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle on U.S. 41 near College Street, striking a light pole and numerous parked vehicles at the Auto House Superstore. The 17-year-old driver fled east on foot and was apprehended two blocks away by Terre Haute City Police officers.

The two passengers were injured and were taken to Regional Hospital before being transported to Methodist Hospital.

The investigation is ongoing and the specific criminal charges have yet to be determined. The alleged teenage driver was taken to Regional Hospital for evaluation and possible treatment. Police report that he was not admitted and is being held in the Vigo County Jail due to the seriousness of the alleged offenses and after consultation with the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office.

The criminal investigation is being conducted by Trooper Robertson, who was assisted by numerous ISP troopers, sheriff’s deputies, Terre Haute City Police officers, Terre Haute Fire/EMS and the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office.

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