Aklavik ice-road runner
Teenager charged after two-hour police chase

Cindy MacDougall
Northern News Services

Aklavik (Mar 13/00) - A 14-year-old boy faces charges of theft and dangerous driving after police chased a stolen truck from Aklavik to Inuvik on an ice road March 5.

Aklavik RCMP received a tip that a community member's Ford F-150 had been stolen and was seen racing away on the ice road, said Const. Paul Richer.

"(Const.) Bruce (McGregor) jumped into the police truck and got on the ice road," said Richer. "It wasn't too long before he spotted the truck."

The pursuit lasted two hours, said Richer, although McGregor tried his best to convince the suspect to stop.

"He passed, made eye contact and tried to slow him down," he said. "But he (the driver) was desperate to reach Inuvik for some reason."

McGregor could not be reached for comment, but partner Richer monitored the pursuit on the radio.

Police from Inuvik blocked off ice road exits and kept traffic off the road.

They also put a spike belt on the road at the Tuktoyaktuk junction to flatten the truck's tires, but modern technology foiled the Mounties' plan.

"The tires had a liquid in them that sealed the holes," said Richer. "It didn't work to our advantage."

The chase stopped when the driver ran out of road about 16 kilometres past Inuvik.

Richer said the driver tried to turn around, but got stuck in a snowbank.

The 14-year-old was arrested, charged and brought back to Aklavik.

He has been released into his parents' custody and will appear in territorial youth court in Aklavik May 3.

The high-speed pursuit has caused some excitement in Aklavik, a small and usually quiet community.

People have been talking about it at the Aklavik General Store, according to acting manager Kit Rouse.

"Things like that don't happen very often here," he said. "I guess he wanted to go on an adventure.

"You know kids. They'll try anything once."