Boy, 9, steals and crashes Saskatoon city bus
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, September 6, 2014 11:43AM CST
Last Updated Saturday, September 6, 2014 6:49PM CST
A nine-year-old boy has a lot of explaining to do after taking a city bus for a joyride in Saskatoon.
Police say the boy hopped into the empty bus while it was parked with the engine running outside the transit yard on Saturday morning.
He hit the gas and got two blocks before hitting a curb and getting stuck, but during that time smashed another city bus and a parked vehicle.
No one was injured and police say that due to the boy's age there won't be any charges.
He has since been taken home by police.
Eyewitness Michael Pritchard says the bus was left running with the door open, and he had seen the boy ride past on a bicycle just moments before.
Pritchard was sitting in his truck in an alley waiting for his son at the time. But as his son approached, he noticed something that caused him to do a double-take.
"I looked in my mirror and I saw a little head in the driver's seat of the bus," said Pritchard in an interview.
The bus rolled out of view and the two men heard a crash as the vehicle hit another bus.
They raced out to the street and saw the bus continuing on so they jumped into the truck and took off after it.
Pritchard said they tried not to make it look like they were following.
The bus hit a parked car but kept going towards Idylwyld Drive, a busy thoroughfare. As it attempted to turn onto Idylwyld, it clipped stop sign and became lodged against the curb.
Pritchard jumped out of his truck and ran up to the bus.
"He was looking at me. With his foot -- like you could hear the bus wanting to go but he couldn't go anywhere because I'm guessing the back tire was locked into the curb somewhere," Pritchard said.
"I had to pry open the bus doors. I told him to get out of the bus. He got out of the bus and I grabbed him because I didn't want him to take off. That's when the transit guy came."
Pritchard said the boy wouldn't answer any questions.
"He just kept saying, 'No. No."'
Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith said the boy was alone and hadn't been with any other children at the time.
Jeff Jorgenson, Saskatoon's transportation and utilities manager, said the bus was started so maintenance workers could access another bus. It was left idling for 20 minutes, he said.
Jorgenson said the bus doors were closed but not locked. Still, he said policies were broken.
"Buses are not to be left in that condition," Jorgenson said. "There were safety protocols violated."
Jorgenson said it's too early to tell if any jobs will be affected by the incident.
Pritchard said the boy did a lot of damage and it's lucky no was injured.
"I was hoping it didn't hit anybody or another kid riding a bike across the street."