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Unlicensed youth, 16, was on way to Wendy's; complaint filed in court

By Jennifer Mann
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 05:24 AM

QUINCY -
A 16-year-old in a city summer work program took a parks department vehicle for a joy ride despite not having a drivers' license, police said.
The truck crashed before the teen made it to where he was headed: the Wendy's fast-food restaurant on Newport Avenue in Wollaston.
The driver was unhurt, and his 16-year-old passenger was treated for minor injuries at the scene, police said.
The green Ford F-150 truck, which had about 200,000 miles on it and was the oldest in the department's fleet, will not be replaced, said Chris Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch.
Neither police nor the city would release the driver's name because he is a juvenile.
Police cited him for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and a criminal complaint was filed in Quincy District Court.
The driver was taking part in the YouthWorks summer jobs program, a state-funded operation that matches low-income youth with jobs in the city where they live. Most often they work in the public sector.
The youth in question had been assigned to the parks department. The Quincy School Department administers the program locally.
The crash happened July 17. Afterward, the teen told police that he was supposed to be taking the truck to trim weeds at Pageant Field.
He said a parks department foreman had picked him for the job after asking who, out of a group of YouthWorks employees, had a license. The youth raised his hand and the foreman gave him the keys.
The city confirmed that account.
Last Friday, city Human Resources Director Stephen McGrath issued a new policy that says only individuals 18 or older are permitted to drive city vehicles.
"In this case, the foreman was lied to. It's never happened before and it's not going to happen again," Walker said.
Walker could not confirm the youth's status with the program. School officials could not be reached.
"He's not going to be working on any city jobs, I can tell you that," Walker said.
Walker added that the youths did not have permission to go to Wendy's.

http://www.patriotledger.com/homepa...n-Quincy-parks-department-truck-ends-in-crash
 
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