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Teen who was passenger in stolen car involved in fatal crash says she’s ‘thankful I’m here’

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MILWAUKEE -- One teenager was killed, another is facing charges and a third was seriously injured after a pursuit involving a stolen vehicle. The injured teen told FOX6 News she's lucky to be alive.

With the chain on his cuffs clanking, 17-year-old Roman Wise looked up and made a face at FOX6's cameras in court on Tuesday, July 24. He's suspected of causing a fatal car crash in December of 2017.

Roman Wise

Roman Wise

Wise faces the following charges:

  • Vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer resulting in the death of another
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer resulting in great bodily harm
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer causing damage to property

Court documents say Wise was the driver of a Lexus that was taken in a carjacking atΒ a car wash near 29th and Capitol around 8 a.m. on Dec. 17. The report says he sped off when police tried to stop him. After running red lights with the car's lights turned off, the stolen car slammed into two vehicles.

Car wash near 29th and Capitol

"I had a fractured neck and broken pelvis," said Quavana Harris.

Quavana Harris

Harris was a passenger in the stolen car.

"I'm just thankful that I'm still here. I can still walk -- not paralyzed in a wheelchair," said Harris.

Crash at Fond du Lac and Locust

The other teenager in the car wasn't as lucky. He died from his injuries.

When investigators were able to question Harris, she talked about the pursuit. She "estimated their speed at 80-90 miles-per-hour, and she knew they were going to hit something, so she put her head down. The next thing she remembers is waking in the hospital."

"It could have been me dead," said Harris.

Quavana Harris and her father

Harris said the tragedy has changed her life in many ways.

"Make better decisions for myself, and focus more of my future. Get more focused in school and really try to get the kids in the community to stop stealing cars and stop stealing period," said Harris.

Meanwhile, Wise is behind bars, waiting to learn his fate.

"Giving him time to think about the things he did. He says he wishing he could take everything back," said Harris.

Crash at Fond du Lac and Locust

Harris' father said he's grateful his daughter gets a second chance at life, and hopes the 17-year-old suspect can do something positive with his.

"What I do hope the outcome is, is not that he just goes to jail and becomes another number and statistic in jail, but takes this time to utilize and make himself better," said Harris' father.

Wise was in court Tuesday for his arraignment. He pleaded not guilty. A pre-trial hearing was set for aug. 30, and a jury trial was scheduled to begin in October.

Online court records show he has two other open cases, filed in February of 2018.

One charges him with attempting to take and drive a vehicle without consent and misdemeanor bail jumping.

The other charges him with operating a vehicle without consent -- passenger, a misdemeanor charge.

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