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Boy dies after leading law enforcement on high-speed chase north of Bemidji

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A 16-year-old boy died Saturday morning after leading area police officers on a high-speed chase north of Bemidji.

The boy has not yet been identified, pending notification of family members.

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According to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office:

Deputies stopped a vehicle at about 4:45 a.m. on suspicion of drunk driving. While the driver was out of the vehicle with the deputy during the investigation, the 16-year-old passenger moved into the driver's seat, got behind the wheel and drove off northbound on Bemidji Avenue.

Another Beltrami County deputy and two Bemidji Police officers began pursuing the vehicle.

The new driver fled in excess of 100 mph and was swerving between lanes. He continued north through Turtle River and then lost control on the curve north of Turtle River. The vehicle left the roadway and rolled into the trees.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle.

Officers on scene rendered first aid. Bemidji Ambulance Service and North Memorial Air Care responded to the scene. The boy was airlifted to a hospital in Fargo, where he died from injuries suffered in the crash.

The incident remains under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol and Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.

Identities of those involved have not yet been released. Additional information is expected to be released Tuesday.

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