ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An 18-year-old from Altoona is in jail after police said he hit two vehicles and a fence in a hit-and-run incident on Sept. 11.

James M. Avarali is accused of speeding and hitting two vehicles in the alley of 6th Avenue. Avarali reportedly left the scene and later crashed into a fence at the Altoona Bible Institute on 3rd Street. His mother contacted police to tell them her son took her car “against her wishes” and was involved in a hit-and-run, according to the charges filed.

The mother said Avarali parked the damaged vehicle behind their residence. Police noted he does not have a driver’s license.

A 15-year-old girl was a passenger in the SUV at the time and said she was injured from Avarali crashing into the fence at the Altoona Bible Institute. She was sent to UPMC’s Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh a few days later where doctors said she fractured vertebrae in her spine, according to the charges filed.


Charges include felony aggravated assault by vehicle, misdemeanors of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 20.

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