Two teens are suspected of huffing a chemical substance on Monday afternoon and driving around Beatrice, hitting a parked car and sideswiping another motorist.
Police Chief Bruce Lang says the teens were apprehended and cited. Chief Lang says police received a call at 4 PM about an injury accident along North Sumner Street.
Officers arrived and found both vehicles totalled. The 18-year-old driver, from Beatrice, and his 15-year-old female passenger from Fairbury, were detained.
Lang says investigating officers discovered that the female had gone to Walmart in Beatrice and allegedly had stolen a can of aerosol spray used to clean computers.
Some young people are intentionally breathing in the gas from the can to get high in what’s called “huffing.” Lang says the 18-year-old at the wheel apparently passed out while speeding down the road, hitting a passing car and the parked car, destroying both.
Lang said the incident highlights the potential deadly dangers of huffing. He says the chemicals go right to the brain and act very fast with possible fatal consequences at worst, or permanent brain damage.
Neither of the young people in this incident were seriously hurt and Lang says they were very lucky. The owner of the vehicle was cited for having no insurance.
The driver, 18-year-old Dalton Hawkins was cited for various driving offenses. The 15-year-old female from Fairbury is being investigated for the theft from Walmart.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice