Teen crashes van into vacant Laveen home

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A teen was seriously injured when he crashed his parents' van into a vacant house Friday night, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to the area of 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road in Laveen around 8:45 p.m.

Police said the 16-year-old boy with special needs was angry at his parents and stole their van.

Witnesses said the teen appeared to be going about 70 mph when he struck the home. 

"All of a sudden, he just high-tailed it," said neighbor Victor Flores, who had just pulled into his driveway and was unbuckling his son's car seat when he saw the van's head lights. "The engine was revved up high. My wife goes, 'Oh, Jesus,' because he's not going to make the turn. He went straight in there. The van spun around. It ended up looking like he made a U-turn inside."

The teen was transported to a local trauma center in serious but stable condition. He is expected to be OK.

"He was out here, spitting," Flores said. "He's like looking around where he was. He was confused."

Police said the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will decide whether to file charges.

As for the home, Ron Petty with Service Master thinks it will need months of work.

He said he received a call late Friday night about a board-up job that needed to be done as soon as possible. It took construction crews most of the day to secure the roof and board up the garage.

"Pictures don't do it a whole lot of justice," Petty said. "I'm amazed that it's still standing."

The previous owners had just moved out.