A stolen car crashed into a pillar on the Trinity College campus in Hartford on Tuesday morning, police said.
It happened at Summit Street and New Britain Avenue just before 5 a.m.
According to police, three teens, a 16-year-old boy and two 14-year-old girls, were taken to the hospital. The 16-year-old was reportedly in critical condition.
When they first arrived to the scene, one teen was trapped inside the vehicle, another was sitting outside and a third fled on foot.
"I was in the bathroom at the time and I heard the boom," said an eyewitness who only wanted to be identified as Jimmy. "I looked out the window and saw the scene."
Police said the vehicle was stolen from West Hartford with the keys inside.
Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian Foley urged people to not leave their keys in their cars.
"In the city, auto thefts are going down," Foley said. "The amount of cars we're recovering from outside the city are skyrocketing. I mean, up 200 percent."
The car was stolen from a home on Randal Avenue in West Hartford about an hour before the crash.
As a result, West Hartford police said they also responded to the scene.
"Our officers did not chase or pursue this car," said Lt. Michael Perruccio, community relations division, West Hartford police. "We only responded after the crash because the car was reported stolen from our town."
A Channel 3 crew on the scene spotted the wreckage of the vehicle along with broken concrete at the scene in Hartford.
Hartford police said firefighters arrived to extricate the trapped teen.
Both the rescued teen and the one sitting outside the vehicle were transported to Connecticut Children's Medical Center for treatment. The third arrived at Connecticut Children's by way of a private vehicle.
While the 16-year-old's wounds were described as serious, no one suffered life-threatening injuries.
Foley said this was a worst-case-scenario for how these crimes play out.
"They don't fear going to juvenile court, to them it's a joke. But today we're seeing the tragic outcomes," he said. "I understand, you don't want to lock up kids. We don't want to do that either! There's a balance somewhere. A balance of when kids need to be locked up [and] when they don't. And when they need to be protected from themselves and when others need to protect them. These kids are a danger to themselves."
This was the second time a vehicle has struck a pillar in the area in as many months.
Last month, Hector Rios-Acevedo was killed when his car slammed into the pillar on Summit Street, which is located on the other side of the street from where Tuesday's crash happened.
Tuesday morning's crash was also the second serious crash involving a stolen vehicle that Hartford police responded to overnight.
A 22-year-old Hartford woman was killed by a suspect at Ward and Zion streets who was driving a stolen pickup truck out of New Britain.
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