Owner of stolen Kamloops truck hangs on as suspects speed away

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The owner of a pickup truck stolen in British Columbia has survived a high speed, potentially life-threatening ride in an unsuccessful bid to save his property.

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodie Shelkie says the flatbed pickup was reported stolen last Friday in the southern Interior city, but a man and woman continued to drive it around the area.

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Shelkie says witnesses report the vehicle topped 100 kilometres an hour as it careened down several streets, clipping a power pole and three other vehicles as the owner, Francis Payette, clung to the back.

Payette says he spotted it Wednesday and jumped onto the flatbed when the pair in the cab started to drive away.

He says throughout the ordeal, the driver tried to dislodge him by swerving aggressively before crashing the truck into a field, where it burst into flames.

Payette was not hurt but Shelkie says charges are being considered against a man and a woman who suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash and were arrested at the scene.

Shelkie says police should always be contacted about any crime in progress and it's fortunate no pedestrians or other drivers were hurt, but Payette believes he had no choice but to leap onto the truck.

"What do you do? Say goodbye to your truck and continue (to see) them doing more crime? Or let's put an end to this," he said.

Shelkie says Payette's allegation that the driver was deliberately trying to dislodge him during the high-speed ride could result in very serious charges against the suspects.

"Our investigation will include looking at whether the suspects' behaviour and their driving behaviour was, in fact, (meant) to cause injury to the owner on the back of the pickup, or to shake him off of the pickup," she said. (CFJC, CHNL)

This report from The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2019.

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