Police Find Stolen Rental SUV That Hit a University Minibus

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WILKES-BARRE – Authorities in Luzerne County said they have recovered a stolen SUV that was involved in a hit-and-run crash Tuesday morning, that left a Wilkes University minibus and another SUV damaged.

Witnesses told Newswatch 16 that they called 911 and Wilkes-Barre police when the crash happened, but the first city police officer did not respond until an hour later.

Brendan Bucan said that his morning commute from Dallas Borough was cut short, when his SUV was read-ended around 9 a.m.

“He had to be going about 80 miles an hour, if maybe even more, and slammed into the back of me. I got out of the car instantly and he reversed and slammed into this shuttle bus of Wilkes students, then took off,” said Bucan. “I’m outraged, a whole hour? I called 911 again, wondering where they are. They said they are on their way. That was 20 minutes ago. So twenty minutes, after the second call. That’s not right.”

One student attending class at Wilkes University told Newswatch 16 that she waited nearly 90 minutes earlier this year, when she reported a robbery to Wilkes-Barre police.

“It doesn’t say anything good for Wilkes-Barre Police. To me, it’s really upsetting that you can’t be there within a reasonable amount of time,” said Mandy English.

About six hours after the crash, an off-duty city officer spotted the damaged rental SUV, abandoned in a parking lot on South Washington Street.

No one has been charged with the hit-and-run, and no one was injured in the wreck.

City administrators did not return calls or emails from Newswatch 16 asking about the delay in police response, but Mayor Tom Leighton announced last month that Wilkes-Barre plans on hiring ten new police officers next year.