Young driver returns to face crash consequences

MIKE YOUDS / Kamloops Daily News
January 14, 2013 01:00 AM

Estimates are that the crash caused $10,000 damage to the garage of one Brocklehurst home.

"Earthquake," a Brock resident thought at 2:40 a.m. Sunday after his house was rocked to its foundations.

"My whole house was shaking," said Lonnie, who didn't want his last name published.

His wife looked out the window and spotted a vehicle driving down the road with someone running behind. He stepped out the front door and was confronted with landscaping debris, confirming his first impression: "Oh, we must have had an earthquake."

As the sleep left him, Lonnie soon ruled out that scenario, seeing no damage to neighbours' homes. The only exception was the house across the street, where a hedge was taken out. The garage door of Lonnie's home was smashed in and the family car inside, a 2010 Ford Focus, was pushed to the rear wall.

Joshua Levin, the neighbour whose property was also damaged, got a better look at the culprits. He first heard a bang and tires skidding on ice.

"We got to the window to see an SUV attempting to drive down the street with its back passenger door open and someone running down the street after it, trying to get in," Levin recounted.

Levin concluded it was three teenagers who had tried to turn around in his neighbour's driveway. He figured the driver hit the gas pedal too hard and ran into the garage. When the driver backed out, he swung too wide and destroyed a large cedar in front of Levin's home.

Levin jumped in his vehicle but could not catch up to the culprits. Some of the details came to light a little over an hour later when the driver returned to the crash site.

"They were all sorry and one was almost in tears," Lonnie said. "I have teenage kids. Things happen. They were good, very apologetic."

The driver, 18, admitted that he'd panicked and fled. He told police that he was the designated driver for his two passengers, one of them the son of the owner of the Jeep Cherokee. He said his foot got stuck on the gas pedal and he lost control of the vehicle.

Road conditions may have been a contributing factor.

"The policeman, when he got out of his car, fell face first on the ice," Lonnie said. "He could not stand up in the street, that's how slippery it is."

Police estimate the crash caused $10,000 damage to the garage alone. The family is having the damage assessed and some of it appears structural. Insurance will cover their costs.

The driver has been charged with driving contrary to licence restrictions and leaving the scene of an accident. The Jeep Cherokee was also damaged. That's why one of the passengers got out of the vehicle, to pick up parts as they fled.

"In the end, it was better for them to go back and fess up to it," Levin said.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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