Kids bash truck driver in Toormina
A BURLY truck driver from Grafton doubts he’ll ever be able to go to Toormina again.
The 43-year-old, who does not want to be named for fear of reprisal, was viciously bashed with a ‘metal scooter swung like a baseball bat’ on Saturday in an assault he described as terrifying.
Today, he is nursing a broken sternum, abrasions and bruises.
“What happened the other day makes me scared of being targeted in the future,” he said.
“I just don’t think I could put myself in that position again.”
The driver’s ordeal started around 1pm Saturday as he slowed his semi-trailer to turn into the Centro shopping complex at the Minorie Drive entrance opposite the skate park.
“I felt this almighty thud and initially thought a car must have hit me. I looked over my shoulder and saw some kids bolting off from the skate park and then I thought someone has thrown something at my truck.”
It was when he tried to find out what had happened that things turned ugly. “A group of kids came over when I got down from the cab and I asked who had thrown what at me. No-one would own up so I grabbed a white cap off one little fella’s head and said he could have it back them he told me what had happened,” the driver said.
“As he starting mentioning names, out of nowhere this huge-looking kid appeared and started swearing at me.
“It all happened really fast but almost immediately he started hitting me with a metal scooter. He was throwing it around like it was a baseball bat with tremendous force. He hit me on the chest, about the arms and on the legs. When I fell to the ground, he starting kicking and punching me. I don’t remember how I did it but I got the scooter off him and then he and a few others did the bolt.”
Police were called and the driver was treated at the scene by an ambulance officer before being taken to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus where x-rays revealed he had broken his sternum, which will have him off the road for up to seven weeks.
“The doctors have told me I can’t drive because if I had an accident or had to brake hard the seat belt could crush my internal organs and I’d die.”
What also weighs heavily on his mind is what might have happened if the missile had hit him.
“It hit the cab just six to eight inches behind my window. If it had hit me in the head I could have been knocked out and then a huge truck would have been out of control in an area full of kids and families.”