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Teen pleads guilty to role in game of ‘chicken’

A Dexter teenager who allegedly played a high-speed game of “Chicken” last April pleaded guilty to three gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation Monday in Mower County court.

Lance Allen Ellefson, 19, originally pleaded not guilty to two felonies and a gross misdemeanor in January but was able to plea down two of the counts.

He is scheduled for sentencing May 21.

According to a criminal complaint, Ellefson drove the wrong way on Third Street NE in Dexter on April 6, 2009, smashing into a truck being driven by Tyler Paul Iverson, 20.

A witness, whose yard the cars ended up in after the crash, said she saw Ellefson driving quite fast down the road.

Ellefson had two passengers, a 14-year-old female and a 13-year-old male. The girl suffered a concussion and had numerous cuts and sprains. The boy fractured a finger and had pain in his left shoulder.

Iverson was alone in his truck. He suffered a cut above his right eye, as well as pain in his legs, shoulders and back.

Any injuries sustained by Ellefson were not specified in the complaint.

The witness said she overheard Ellefson saying, “Man, I shouldn’t have been playing ‘Chicken’ with you,” to Iverson after the crash. The woman also said Ellefson frequently drives fast and erratically down Third Street, the complaint states.

Iverson told authorities that he was going north and saw Ellefson coming at him in the opposite direction. He said both vehicles attempted to swerve, but they went the same way and smashed into each other.

This story was consistent with skid marks at the scene, according to the complaint.

Alcohol was not listed as a contributing factor.