‘Just absolutely nuts’: Kamloops man clings to back of truck as alleged thieves drive off

Click to play video: 'Kamloops man taken on wild and dangerous ride' Kamloops man taken on wild and dangerous ride
Two people are facing charges after a stolen flatbed pickup truck travelled more than 20 kilometres through Kamloops with the owner clinging to the back – Oct 18, 2019

A Kamloops man was taken on a wild and dangerous ride after he jumped in the back of his flatbed pickup truck as someone was driving off with it.

Francis Payette’s truck had been stolen from his property on Oct 11. Feeling the police weren’t doing enough, he asked his friends to find the truck.

He received a call from a friend who said they spotted the vehicle and started following it.

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Payette tracked down the truck and confronted the occupants of the vehicle.

He said he could hear the truck’s engine start up, so he jumped onto the back of the flatbed.

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“I’m like, well, what do you do?” Payette said. “You watch the thing drive away and continue more crime. So I thought, well, I’ll jump on. They’re not going to get away with me on the back of it now.”

Kamloops RCMP say that during the wild ride that followed, the thieves reached speeds of more than 100 kilometres an hour.

“I thought they were going to kill some people, hit some cars, just absolutely nuts,” Payette said. “You could hear her hitting the throttle, full throttle. There was no braking.”

Click to play video: 'Multiple police agencies participate in stolen truck takedown' Multiple police agencies participate in stolen truck takedown
Multiple police agencies participate in stolen truck takedown – Sep 21, 2018

According to Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie, the truck hit three moving vehicles and struck a power pole on Parkcrest Road and Westsyde Road.

“The owner, through this whole thing, stayed in the back of the pickup truck,” she said.

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The vehicle eventually crashed through a fence and came to a fiery stop.

Neither Payette nor the two suspects were seriously injured.

Shelkie says the RCMP should have been notified when the vehicle was located.

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“When the friend saw the stolen vehicle, it probably would have been most appropriate for them to contact the police rather than the owner of the vehicle,” she said.

“At that time police could have monitored where the vehicle was going and conducted a safe traffic stop to stop them.”

Crystal Rae Dorrington and Derrick Ronald Pearson have been charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000, dangerous operation of a conveyance, and assault with a weapon.

The vehicle is a total loss and with no fire or theft insurance, Payette expects to receive no compensation.

But Payette says he didn’t once regret his decision to jump on the back of the truck.

“You gotta stop ’em somehow,” he said.

— With files from CFJC and The Canadian Press


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