Rocks, concrete thrown from motorway bridges
Police are urging Aucklanders to remain extra vigilant driving on motorways after a spike in rocks and chunks of concrete being thrown from overbridges.
On Saturday afternoon a vehicle was hit, and its windscreen smashed, by a piece of concrete thrown from the Bader Drive overbridge in south Auckland.
‘‘A witness spotted a group of youths on the overbridge at the time,’’ said Inspector Naila Hassan, of the Counties Manukau West police.
‘‘The four occupants in the vehicle were lucky to avoid any serious injuries but were understandably shaken.’’
Hassan said the incident over the weekend was just one of many concerning occurrences of people throwing rocks or other items from Auckland motorway overbridges recently.
‘‘This reckless behaviour from those involved is extremely dangerous and can potentially have fatal consequences.
‘‘Police would like to remind those responsible that throwing any items from over bridges poses a serious risk to vehicles and their occupants,’’ Hassan said.
He said offenders could face charges of endangering transport under the Crimes Act, which carried a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.
Hassan also urged motorists to be vigilant and call 111 if they spot suspicious activity taking place.
‘‘Motorists deserve to feel safe on our roads.’’
On Thursday, motorists in Wellington country were also pelted with rocks and a wooden pallet from an overbridge in an earlymorning attack on a new expressway.
Ka¯piti Coast police said an ’’unknown person or persons’’ threw the objects from the Nga¯rara Rd over bridge at vehicles travelling below.
They said a number of vehicles were damaged, including five trucks and a car, in an attack which ’’could have easily caused serious injury or death to any of the motorists’’.
In 2005 Ngatai Reweti, who was 14 at the time, was found guilty of manslaughter after dropping an 8kg lump of con- crete off an overbridge at Otahuhu.
The block instantly killed the driver of the car below, Chris Currie, 20, and his car veered out of control, crashing and injuring his three passengers, including his girlfriend and her two cousins.
Reweti was sentenced to four years in jail.
Police said there have been multiple incidents of people dropping or throwing objects off overbridges recently on Auckland motorways.