SURREY â€” Police are thanking a pair of quick-acting young men for bringing a 16-year-old driver back to the scene of a collision Monday morning.
It was around 11:30 a.m. when a teenager was headed westbound on 88th Avenue at 140th Street in a 2004 Toyota Camry when he collided with an 85-year-old driver of a 1993 Buick. The youth quickly fled the scene, leaving the senior trapped inside his car.
Fortunately, two young men, who were chopping wood in their front yard nearby, noticed what had happened and ran after the teen. They caught and subdued the driver, before returning him to the scene of the accident.
At that point things began getting highly suspicious.
A witness told Surrey RCMP that the teen reached into his car and grabbed a bag with several thousand dollars inside and asked a bystander to take it. The teen requested the person’s phone number so he could pick it up later.
The person complied at first, before being convinced by other witnesses that it was a pretty stupid idea.
With sirens approaching, the panicked teen allegedly grabbed a baggie of marijuana and tossed it over a nearby fence.
When police arrived they found the bag with money in it, another bag with a small amount of marijuana, some drug paraphernalia, and five different cellphones.
The 85-year-old man had to be rescued from his car by first responders, but was treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The teen was taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries before being interviewed by police.
Surrey RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said the teen has been released without charge, but that the money, drugs, and numerous cellphones found at the scene indicate criminal activity.
"I have one cellphone, it seems for me and for most of my friends and family, one cellphone seems to do the trick just fine. But for reasons we’re looking into, this young man decided he needed five. We do have a good idea of the reasons for that."
Paquet could not identify the youth, nor would he be allowed under the laws governing youth under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He was however able to confirm that he is a Surrey resident.
"Every time we deal with teenagers that are suspected to be involved in criminal activities on a regular basis, specifically the drug trade, they’re entering a world that they probably do not understand fully or comprehend fully the risks associated with it. The short career spans associated to these kinds of criminal activity and what it leads to.
"We hope that this is a learning moment for this young man. At 16-years-old there’s definitely a lot of time to learn from a mistake and move forward in life and we hope that’s what’s going to happen."
As for the two young men who apprehended the teen, Paquet said that although police recommend the public do not get involved in potentially dangerous situations like these, they are grateful that they did.
"I think a lot of people in our community would have done the same thing, and considering nothing happened to them we’re glad that they stepped in," said Paquet, before adding, "and we are hiring. We’ll be talking to them."