Terrebonne man tracks down stolen truck

Passing drivers stop to help after crash

Terrebonne man tracks down stolen truck

TERREBONNE, Ore. - After blowing the tire out on his truck, Ken Sankey went to his ex-wife Rita Sankey's place for a ride into Redmond to get a new one. But the Sunday afternoon errand quickly turned into quite the drama.

"We said well, 'We'll just wash our hands and go in town, and see if we can get another tire put on the wheel,'" Ken recalled Monday. "While I was in washing my hands, I heard someone peel out of the gravel."

The two looked outside just in time to see Rita's truck (left unlocked with the keys inside) pull onto Highway 97, and realized it had been stolen. She immediately called police, and Ken took off in another truck.

"(I saw) her truck turn out the driveway and turn down Smith Rock Way," Ken said.

The person behind the wheel, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said: 42-year-old Peter Caswell of Redmond had two passengers, 43-year-old Amber Higbee of Redmond, and her dog.

After driving about four miles down Smith Rock Way, deputies say Caswell -- allegedly driving drunk -- lost control of the truck and crashed into a barbed wire fence and some trees.

"It wrecked right in front of me -- I was coming right at it," said Ken. "He bailed out one side and she bailed out the other, and they just got out and were going to run down the road. I grabbed his backpack, and told him he had to stay there."

Caswell got away, but quickly came back, once he realized Sankey was holding onto the dog. By that point, Sankey had some help from people who saw all the commotion.

"Everybody kept him right there until the cops got there, and then they cuffed him and took him away," Ken said.

Caswell is being held at the Deschutes County Jail without bail due to a parole violation, and on charges of DUII and reckless endangering, among others.

Ken Sankey said he recognized Caswell when he got out of the truck, recalling he asked Ken for money for food and cigarettes five years ago.

The couple said they wanted to thank all the people driving by who stopped to help after the crash.

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