Babe rest­ing af­ter car­jack­ing

‘She knew she was home again,’ grate­ful fam­ily says of dog’s re­turn from vet af­ter 40-km joy ride

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY BARB SWEET

If Babe the Brit­tany spaniel could talk, she would likely tell a ter­ri­fy­ing tale of be­ing tossed around the back­seat as joyrid­ing youths raced from St. John’s to Tors Cove be­fore her fam­ily’s stolen car ended over a bank Mon­day night on the South­ern Shore High­way.

The look on her face when Babe’s dog mom, Deb­bie Hanames, caught sight of her at the crash scene said it all.

“Oh my God, I never see her so bad,” Hanames told The Tele­gram Tues­day morn­ing.

Af­ter a $172 emer­gency trip to the vet Mon­day night, Babe has to be kept in­side for a few days — ex­cept to do her busi­ness — and her breath­ing watched, as it wasn’t nor­mal in the af­ter­math of the crash.

Ac­cord­ing to a fam­ily Face­book post, bruis­ing on the lungs is a con­cern, but a cut paw was mi­nor.

Babe hadn’t yet eaten any­thing Tues­day morn­ing and may even­tu­ally need a $600 X-ray.

The fam­ily car was stolen from the Wal-Mart park­ing lot on Top­sail Road in St. John’s Mon­day night. Hanames’s son, Colin, had loaded pur­chases and was re­turn­ing the cart when the ve­hi­cle was stolen.

“Quick as that they had it gone,” she said.

What fol­lowed must have been 40 kilo­me­tres of hor­ror for Babe.

Hanames said the fam­ily was dis­traught, sick with worry about Babe.

They called the RNC and put out a plea on Face­book. The phone rang off the hook with tips and calls of con­cern, and within a cou­ple of hours, Hanames, her other son Ryan and his wife, Can­dace, raced to the crash scene.

The scene was hor­ri­fy­ing — bro­ken glass in the car, and ex­ploded airbags.

The fam­ily’s thoughts were of how much the dog went through and how lucky she was to sur­vive, trapped in the back­seat with a group or car­jack­ing strangers rac­ing over the road.

Hanames is also thank­ful to those who called or posted in­for­ma­tion af­ter the car was stolen.

When they brought Babe home, she perked up at the sight of the house.

Re­ports from the scene in­di­cate the youths lost con­trol and crashed the car when they ap­par­ently spot­ted an RCMP ve­hi­cle on the side of the road.

The RCMP had been no­ti­fied by the RNC of the theft and were on the look­out for the stolen ve­hi­cle.

The fam­ily told The Tele­gram Mon­day night they were told by po­lice that the car was in­volved in a hit and run be­fore the crash in Tors Cove.

An RNC of­fi­cer ar­rived at the crash scene to take cus­tody of the fe­male youth from the RCMP.

At least one of the three youths was taken to hos­pi­tal for what ap­pear to be non-lifethreat­en­ing in­juries.

Const. Ge­off Hig­don, spokesman for the RNC, said Tues­day a 17-year-old fe­male youth faces charges of theft of a ve­hi­cle, dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a ve­hi­cle and fail­ure to stop.

Po­lice re­ceived the ini­tial re­port a blue Kia was stolen just af­ter 5 p.m.

The sev­eral-page po­lice re­port in­di­cated that at 5:45 p.m., a ve­hi­cle with the same plate num­ber hit a truck on Colum­bus Drive. There were no in­juries and mod­er­ate dam­age to the truck.

Po­lice caught sight of the stolen car a lit­tle af­ter 6 p.m. in the Old Pla­cen­tia Road/Ruby Line area headed for the Robert E. Howlett High­way and at­tempted to stop the driver.

As the stolen ve­hi­cle was trav­el­ling at a high speed, the pur­suit was quickly called off, Hig­don said.

As the car headed out of RNC ju­ris­dic­tion, the RCMP was alerted.

The RNC was then in­formed of the ac­ci­dent around 6:45 p.m.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing. A Go­FundMe ac­count has been started for the vet bills — Baby’s med­i­cal ex­pense (A2NDChance).

(The dog’s name is pro­nounced baby).

JOE GIB­BONS/THE TELE­GRAM

Colin Han­names, 28, of St. John’s, holds his dog, Babe, out­side his west-end St. John’s home on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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