From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Is that Bill on that car?

Bringing you highlights from 128 years of Chilliwack Progress news coverage.

Since first publishing on April 16, 1891 the Chilliwack Progress has been the newspaper of record in Chilliwack.

One hundred and 28 years later the Progress remains the longest continuously published newspaper in British Columbia. With the addition of a thriving digital operation anchored by theprogress.com, the Progress delivers more news to more people than ever before.

‘From the Progress Archives’ is a journey into the past, to see what was making news on this day decades ago.

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Headline: Is that Bill on that car?

Date: January 18, 1995

Story by Robert Freeman

“Hey, isn’t that Bill on the hood of that car?”

It was indeed their friend Bill Hodge, shoeless, sprawled across the windshield of a car being driven at 40 km-h down Knight Road Saturday by a would-be thief.

Hodge had run out of his apartment at Key Point Villa after spotting three youths apparently breaking into his neighbor’s car.

Two of the youths left when they saw Hodge coming their way, but the third remained sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.

He stepped on the gas after Hodge banged on the window, nearly pinning the shoeless Samaritan against a pole in his getaway attempt.

“My only option was to go up,” Hodge said. “I just jumped on the hood to block his view, thinking he would stop.”

But the would-be thief didn’t. For about 100 yards down Knight Road, Hodge clung to the car as it rocked from side to side, apparently to throw him off.

Even the windshield wipers were turned on in an attempt to dislodge Hodge from his precarious perch.

But the scariest part of the ride, Hodge says, came when a youth bailed out of the moving vehicle and the driverless car began to drift across the center line into oncoming traffic.

One oncoming driver had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision, and fortunately the car Hodge was hanging onto hit something in the road which steered it off the road to relative safety.

“I ended up going over the sidewalk on the hood of the car,” Hodge said.

Amazed by Hodge’s sudden movie-like appearance, two of his friends chased after the speeding car to help.

Hodge’s only injuries were some scraped knuckles.

Chilliwack RCMP officers later arrested three male juveniles inside a local mall.

The two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old from Burnaby are facing a variety of charges including car theft, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of break-in tools and criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle.

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