PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Two teenagers were charged with murder Thursday after they led police on a high-speed chase in Bell County and hit a parked sheriff's cruiser, killing the deputy and K-9 dog inside, authorities said.
The driver drove away from an Exxon gas station in Baxter without paying at 12:35 a.m., authorities said. Police followed the car at least 10 miles west on U.S. 119 into a neighboring county.
Two state troopers attempted to stop the speeding driver on the winding highway.
The teen's car veered over the center line and rammed into a cruiser parked on the shoulder waiting to join the pursuit, killing Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Pursifull, 31, and his K-9 dog King, state police said.
"It's just a tragedy on multiple levels. This was a $38 tank of gas - that's what this boils down to," Bell County Judge Executive Al Brock said.
The 17-year-old driver, from Delaware, and a 16-year-old passenger from Pennsylvania were slightly injured. Their reason for being in Kentucky were not known.
Authorities were not immediately identifying the suspects because they are juveniles, state police spokesman Walt Meachum said. Both were released from a hospital and jailed in the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of murder of a police officer and assault on a service animal.
Pursifull and his dog made up the K-9 unit at the 10 man sheriff's department in Bell County.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)