Local youth in Restorative Justice after rash of thefts

A brief crime spree has landed a local youth in Ucluelet’s Restorative Justice Program.

The youth was identified and nabbed by police after stealing various items from unlocked cars over a several-day period last month, according to Const. Midlane who said the youth confessed to the thefts.

“He was checking vehicles for minor stuff, loose change, cigarettes, those sorts of things,” Midlane said. “He was basically bored; of course that’s no excuse for the behaviour.”

Midlane noted the youth had only entered unlocked vehicles and said police determined the matter would be best dealt with outside of Provincial Court.

“They will be dealt with out of the court system through Restorative Justice where basically they take responsibility for their actions,” he said.

Youths rescued after canoe tips

Three West Coast youth found themselves treading winter’s cold ocean waters without lifejackets last week.

The Ittatsoo youth had taken a canoe out for a spin around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 18, according to Const. Marcel Midlane of the Ucluelet RCMP.

“Three young people, two males and a female, decided to take a canoe out for a ride across the bay and on their way back from Ucluelet they tipped the canoe,” he said.

“The three of them ended up in the water.”

Midlane said the youths’ frantic cries for help reached Ittatsoo where residents sprang into action and pulled off a successful rescue mission that brought the youth safely to shore.

“They went down and were able to pull them out of the water fairly quickly and get them back onto land,” Midlane said.

Two ambulances arrived from Tofino and Ucluelet to check the youth over and two of the youth were taken to Tofino General Hospital to be treated for hypothermia, according to Midlane. He noted the decision to go out boating at 3 a.m. with no lifejackets was “not very responsible at all,” and said the youth could have faced several charges for their behaviour but police decided to leave the discipline up to the parents.

“They’ve all been spoken to and their parents were all advised of the actions that they decided to take that night,” Midlane said.

“They’re in enough trouble with their parents…We didn’t issue any charges, I think they’ve learned their lesson and hopefully they won’t ever do that again.”

Police nab two in hit and run

A vehicle believed to have been involved in a hit and run incident was found by police a few hours later being driven by an intoxicated driver with no driver’s license. On the evening of Nov. 21, a witness saw a vehicle back into another vehicle and then take off, according to Const. Midlane.

The vehicle was located about two hours later but when police pulled it over they found an intoxicated woman behind the wheel, not the man from the earlier hit and run.

The woman was issued a 90-day driving prohibition and also received infraction tickets for driving without a valid driver’s licence and for attempting to give police a false name.

The male driver from the hit and run was located later and charged with failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

Cement truck tips after swerve for deer

A large cement truck wound up tipped over in a ditch off Port Albion Road last week after its driver swerved to miss a deer.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. on Nov. 19, according to Const. Midlane.

“The driver stated that he had swerved to miss a deer and basically hit the shoulder and the truck tipped into the ditch,” Midlane said.

Midlane noted the slippery road conditions could have been a factor in the crash.

He urges drivers not to put themselves in harms way for the sake of avoiding a deer because the West Coast’s roads are unforgiving and have narrow shoulders.

“It’s generally better to hit a deer than to swerve given the circumstances; all sorts of bad will end up happening if you swerve, especially if the roadway is wet,” he said.

“I would recommend any day hitting a deer and sustaining the damage to your vehicle rather than swerving to miss a deer because either you’re going to go into the oncoming lane of traffic or…you’re going to hit something soft and get sucked into the ditch.”

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and sustained injuries from being bounced around inside the vehicle, according to Midlane who added the driver was issued an infraction ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt.