Near miss for truckie as rock throwers strike

A Victorian truck driver is lucky to be alive after baseball-sized rock hit his windscreen last week

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 20, 2012

A Victorian truck driver is lucky to be alive after a rock the size of a baseball hit his windscreen last week.

Brett Wright, who works for O’Neil Transport, was travelling from Ballarat to Melbourne on February 17 when someone threw a rock at his windscreen from the Hillcrest Road overpass at Brown Hill.

Wright, who has been driving for 31 years, says he knows of at least eight occurrences in the last four months through the company and other truck drivers that were victims of rock attacks at the same location.

Wright says he was fortunate he was not carrying a load otherwise his rig would have rolled.

"There’s a big skid mark there where I skidded across the road before I pulled up – luckily I was empty, I didn’t have anything on," he says.

"This truck has been done twice in the last four months because it gets driven 24-hours a day, five days a week. The other bloke that drives it got done about three months ago at the same spot."

Wright believes kids hide under the foot bridge and target vehicles.

"They time it well. As soon as they see a truck coming you don’t see them up there but they hold their heads down and just let the rocks fall.

"The rocks may start getting bigger. I’m alive and I tell the story and hopefully people keep a vigilant eye out and one day they’ll catch them."

Ballarat Police Senior Sergeant Peter McCormick says there is no pattern to the attacks but he is calling on drivers to remain alert.

"It hasn’t been just trucks but cars as well. They’re all just random acts. Whether they are the same individuals or copycat individuals, we are unable to say," McCormick says.

"People will get hurt and injured through this practice but unfortunately it doesn’t happen regularly enough for us to mountain an operation on it."

McCormick says offers regularly conduct patrols and are doing their best to locate the culprits.

Wright says it cost $400 to replace the windscreen, but adds that the offenders might act differently if he knew the consequences of what could happen from throwing rocks.

"If they can see the distraction they may one day do to someone then they may think differently about doing it again," he says.

"Maybe one day it may be one of their relatives or their friends. How would they feel if they got killed because they threw rocks?"

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