Police said the incident, known as skitching, could have had fatal consequences. (File photo)

‘It would have killed him’: Teen cyclist avoids injury after hitching a ride on semi

Vernon police said the incident, known as skitching, could have had fatal consequences

It might look like harmless fun, but it’s a decision that could have life-altering consequences.

That potential danger is the message of Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Const. Kelly Brett after a police report alleging skitching – the act in which a skateboarder or cyclist grabs onto a vehicle to hitch a ride – came across her desk.

Read also: Cyclist struck in morning crash

Brett said that shortly after 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, a teenager grabbed onto a vehicle driving through downtown Vernon on 32nd Street “in an attempt to hang on and ride a bike.

“The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP wants to strongly advise anyone from attempting to do such an act as it not only dangerous but could turn fatal,” Brett said, noting that the teenager was unsuccessful in completing the stunt.

Kristin McCallum was at the wheel of a Super-B tractor-trailer when the teenager tried to skitch.

“I came upon a group of about five teenagers. I had a feeling they were going to do something stupid and they didn’t disappoint. As I passed them, I was slowing down for a red light. One of these kids decided to step off the sidewalk and grab on to the side of my trailer right near my truck tires. He held on for a few steps before he let go. They continued walking while I was stopped for the light. Once the light changed and I passed them again and the same kid did the same thing a second time,” McCallum said.

“I stopped and yelled at them. Hopefully, I scared the kid a bit.”

Officers patrolled the area for the teen after receiving a call from McCallum but were unable to locate those involved.

“I was loaded nearly 63,000 kg,” McCallum said. “This wouldn’t have hurt the kid if he fell under my truck. It would have killed him.”

Read also: Accident sends skateboarder to hospital



parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

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