Police warn of the dangers playing ‘tag’ with vehicles

No one wins when young drivers allegedly play a game of cat-and-mouse, or car tag, and end up with one vehicle crashing into the back end of another, pushing it into a tree.

Hillsboro Police Officer John Huebert said the accident was reported at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the corner of Grand and Date streets.

“Car tag essentially is when one vehicle tries to follow another vehicle around and keep up with them,” he said. “Usually it ends up with the motorists driving erratically or recklessly.”

Seven young people were involved in the incident and all but one youth went to Hillsboro Community Hospital to be checked out for possible trauma.

“Four of the seven people were transported by ambulance,” Huebert said. “And it was my understanding all the injuries were minor. Two other young people were self-transported to the hospital, and all with minor injuries.”

The accident happened when Kolton Willard Harms, 17, of Hillsboro, driving a 2011 white Dodge Dakota pickup, was following too closely to Kassidy R. Trapani, 18, in a blue 2002 Volks­wagen bug.

According to the accident report, Harms’ pickup initiated a left hand turn, cutting the corner of Trapani’s Volkswagen, which was also attempting a left hand turn, and was struck in the side by Harms.

Others involved in the incident as passengers in one of the two vehicles were Trinity G. Bisbee, 15, Anna Margaret Baugh, 16, Jasmine Nicole Copenhaver, 15, Ryliegh J. Petersen, 13, and Fillow Michael Cruz, 13, all of Hillsboro.

Huebert said he wasn’t ready to provide names or charges as of Friday, but on Monday names were released.

And charges were pending from the Tuesday accident, he said.

Huebert said he was waiting on statements from individuals to reconstruct the incident on Friday.

“We need to get a lot of things ironed out because there wasn’t a whole lot of truth (from those involved), and we needed to determine what was true and what was not,” Huebert said.

In addition, six of the seven young people were under the age of 18, he added.

Reported damage included a street marker for Grand and Date, damage to the front lawn of a residence and possible damage to the vehicles.

“One of the vehicles would have run into the house if not for a tree being hit first,” Huebert said.

“If the public sees this type of game being played (on Hillsboro streets), call 911 immediately,” he added. “If anybody should see any form of reckless driving they need to call it in.”

Huebert also offered tips when calling authorities.

“One of the things about calling something like this to police is the need to be descriptive of the vehicles—make, model, color and whe­ther it’s a sedan or pickup,” he said.

The more detail someone can provide will help increase the chances of police capturing the drivers.

“A lot of times people aren’t able to get a tag number, but if someone does get that information, it will help us tremendously,” Huebert said.

Whenever these types of games are played in residential neighborhoods, it’s not only reckless, but dangerous, too, Huebert added.

As of press time, citations were issued to both drivers of the vehicles.

For more information, call the Hillsboro Police Department at 620-947-3440 or stop by the office at 414 N. Ash St.