By Dan Spalding
MENTONE — A woman who allegedly stole a Tesla in Mentone crashed it minutes later into a thicket of trees.
The accident happened shortly before 2 p.m. on a gravel road that leads to the town’s sewage plant.
The unidentified driver was airlifted by Lutheran Air to a hospital.
Mentone Town Marshal Jim Eads declined comment other than to say the woman entered a house in the middle of town and then took the car without permission.
Eads said the driver’s injuries were not life-threatening, but a thorough checkout was sought because of the nature of the high-speed crash.
A neighbor said she watched the theft unfold, ran to the car owner’s house and urged the woman not to take it. The driver then sped off at a high rate of speed.
The vehicle crashed about a mile away into clump of trees and heavy vegetation that required chain saws to clear a path to remove the vehicle.
Among the agencies responding were Mentone Police, Mentone Fire, Lutheran EMS and Mentone EMS.