Australian Suicide Roadblock Tactics

Photo credit: Highway Patrol Images

I came across an interesting story the other day which made a shiver run down my spine.

It happened in Australia and it sounded like something out of the latest Mad Max film at first. A lunatic driver was on the run from the police and doing 130 mph on the motorway near Melbourne.

Thankfully, the police in Oz came up with a cunning plan to stop the alleged madman from getting away from them and causing all sorts of mayhem.

This plan involved ordering other drivers to block the motorway using their cars. Even worse was the fact that the drivers were in their cars as the renegade driver came hurtling towards them at high speed. Picture the scene if you will and you will see why it caused me to shudder.

A Maniac with a Stolen Car

The Assistant Commissioner is called Steve Fontana and with refreshing Australian frankness he said that Ashley Steel was “driving like a maniac”. He was also driving a stolen car and only had a learner’s licence.

One of the drivers in the suicide roadblock whose car got hit is called David Rendina. He was sitting in the car with his girlfriend and 2 children ( there was no mention of why the passengers stayed in the car so I assume there simply wasn’t time to get out). He was in a side lane and there was nothing he could do as the vehicle smashed into him. Other drivers said that they thought that someone was going to be killed and that the speeding car had “nowhere to go”, which I think was the whole point of the idea.

Police have launched an investigation into the use of the suicidal road block. Steel suffered minor injuries and has been charged with various offences. As for the police, they said that they were worried that the runaway car would enter Melbourne and kill someone.

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