Sleep­ing driver of stolen Ford Laser gets rude awak­en­ing:

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Emily Smith

IN­STINCT led Monto Po­lice’s Ron Mien­t­jes to de­tect a stolen car which had been caught in traf­fic af­ter a crash on the Bur­nett Hwy on Sun­day.

Once Snr Cons Mien­t­jes ran a check on the car’s plates and con­firmed his hunch was cor­rect, the sleep­ing driver was in for a shock.

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer’s hunch turned out to be true when he thought a ve­hi­cle stuck in traf­fic at a car crash looked sus­pi­cious.

While some driv­ers re­turned home or took back roads dur­ing a nine-hour shut­down on the Bur­nett Hwy fol­low­ing the crash Sun­day night, oth­ers pulled over and set­tled down for a road­side nap, in­clud­ing the driver of the stolen ve­hi­cle.

For Monto Po­lice Se­nior Constable Ron Mien­t­jes, the old Ford Laser im­me­di­ately sounded alarm bells.

“It was just an in­stinct (that called him to check his num­ber plates),” Snr Cons Mien­t­jes said.

“It just looked how you would ex­pect a stolen ve­hi­cle to look.”

As the po­lice were clear­ing cars away, Snr Cons Mien­t­jes said he ini­tially could not see the driver of the car be­cause he was so far slumped down in his seat.

“So we ran the num­ber plate and found it was stolen,” he said.

“Biloela po­lice ar­rested him.”

A 66-year-old Biloela woman is now re­cov­er­ing af­ter she re­ceived a se­ri­ous head in­jury in the crash be­tween her Hilux ute and an Isuzu truck, car­ry­ing two horses and driven by a Monto woman.

Snr Cons Mien­t­jes said the crash hap­pened about 7.30pm just south of Cat­tle Creek, about 30km north of Monto.

“We had no in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses and have only talked to one of the driv­ers, so at this stage the ex­act cause of the crash is un­known,” he said.

“But it ap­pears they passed on a very nar­row stretch of road and one has drifted and col­lided with the other.”

He said the Monto woman driv­ing the truck was in­jured af­ter the crash, af­ter fall­ing over when run­ning to help the other in­jured woman.

The Biloela woman was flown to Rock­hamp­ton ICU in a sta­ble con­di­tion for treat­ment and it was planned she would later be flown to Bris­bane to un­dergo surgery.

Snr Const Ron Mien­t­jes It was just an in­stinct.

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