Three-legged dog linked to alleged crime

Jasmine BamfordNorth West Telegraph

A three-legged dog became an unwitting accomplice in an alleged crime last month.

Newman police charged two men, aged 19 and 20, with multiple offences including stealing a motor vehicle, driving dangerously and driving without a licence, after a bus crashed into a tree near Newman.

Police allege the Newman residents stole the bus, which had keys in the ignition, from the light industrial area after midnight on September 28 before heading off on a joy ride with their three-legged mate in tow.

Newman police Sergeant Mark Garner said the vehicle had not yet been reported as stolen when officers spotted it on the move 5km from where it was originally parked.

"It had literally just been taken," he said. "Patrolling police saw the bus coming towards them and thought it was unusual."

The vehicle was driven down Calgan Drive and made a right turn onto Great Northern Highway before leaving the road and going down a track, crashing into a tree.

According to police, both men attempted to alight from the bus after the crash.

The 20-year-old, who was allegedly the passenger, and the dog managed to escape. However, officers said the 19-year-old driver became caught up under the bus.

Police said as he tried to jump from the vehicle he was hit by the still-moving bus, before it ran him over and he became trapped in the front differential.

"(Police) got onto the bus and cleared it and they could hear someone yelling for help," Sgt Garner said.

"They realised that under the bus was the driver, trapped by the diff, unable to move, his back was against the underside."

It took fire and emergency services and St John Ambulance teams about an hour to free the man, who sustained minor injuries.

Police said the three-legged dog, described as a "Pilbara special", had been seen since the crash and was believed at home.

"He is convalescing from his injuries and we did ask the question was he a three-legged dog before or after the crash," Sgt. Garner said.

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