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Runaway Canine-Driven Trucks Dog Neighbors

October 17, 1989

CHESTERFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ Rowena Russell has had enough with those doggone drivers.

Twice in 14 months, canines left in the cab of pickup trucks while their owners dashed into the General Store, uphill from her house, have knocked the vehicles out of gear and sent them careening into her yard.

She has asked selectmen to put up a barrier to protect her house.

″I’m asking them to do what they think is best so if it happens again, noone will be killed or injured,″ she said.

″It’s a bit much,″ agreed Police Chief Gary Wickland after the latest incident.

Russell said she was working in her garden Sept. 30 when a 80-pound Labrador retreiver came flying by behind the wheel of Francis LeDuc’s pickup, with Leduc in pursuit on foot.

The truck zipped backwards across a road, narrowly missing a tree in her front yard before crashing into the home’s steps, she said.

″Instead of putting her in obedience school, we’re thinking of enrolling her in driver’s training,″ said Leduc.

Scott P. Heyl said he’s still getting kidded a year after his part- Pyrenees, part-Labrador dog bumped against the gearshift of his pickup in front of the General Store.

″I went in to grab a soda and both were gone,″ Heyl recalled.

That time the truck whizzed between two trees and over Russell’s neighbor’s lawn before slamming into Russell’s car, parked in her driveway. The dog bailed out through an open window before the crash.