Motorist’s driving angers man

A JUNCTION Hill man grabbed the keys from the ignition of a car after watching a woman’s erratic driving as she drove her daughter to school last week.

The man, who does not want to be named, followed the woman in from Junction Hill and saw her swerve twice into the path of oncoming traffic, forcing drivers to take evasive action.

“I was coming along the Casino Road from Junction Hill and I saw this car swerve into the path of the oncoming traffic,” he said.

“If the traffic hadn’t swerved out of the way there would have been a head-on collision.

“In another 50 metres she did it again. Then when she went past St Mary’s school zone, she just flew through that.

“If a kid had stepped out, she would have killed them.”

He watched her turn down Oliver Street and saw her car parked outside the Grafton High School.

“I pulled up in front of her, got out and confronted her about her driving,” he said.

“I told her I had seen her almost cause two accidents and asked her if she was feeling all right.

“She said she felt fine and then tried to drive around me, so I reached into the car, turned the ignition off and pulled out the keys.”

The man could not tell if the woman was affected by alcohol or drugs.

He told the woman she should not drive and get someone to pick her up. She agreed, but asked for her keys back so she could park her car.

“The woman’s daughter came back and I asked her to call someone to give her a lift.”

Soon after he saw the woman driving again and called the police.

“They wanted to know if I was prepared to give evidence in court. I said I was,” the man said.

While police praised the man for intervening, they don’t recommend reaching into moving cars to remove keys.

“If she’d panicked and accelerated, he would have had his arm stuck in the car and been dragged along,” said Coffs Clarence Local Area Commander Mark Holohan.

“Many colleagues have been seriously injured in similar circumstances. It sounds like he was lucky on this occasion.”

Commander Holohan did not want to speculate about the causes of the woman’s erratic driving.

“It could have been anything, from something requiring an infringement notice to her being charged with an offence,” he said.

“Or it might just have been a mechanical problem.”

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