Babe resting after carjacking
‘She knew she was home again,’ grateful family says of dog’s return from vet after 40-km joy ride
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).
Colin Hannames, 28, of St. John’s, holds his dog, Babe, outside his west-end St. John’s home on Tuesday afternoon.