Man charged in Sydney hit-and-run spree

Published 24 Jul 2020

Even a single hit-and-run accident is one too many, but fortunately, they are relatively rare throughout Australia. That fact is what makes a recent one-night spree in Sydney so shocking: One driver was allegedly involved in eight separate hit-and-run incidents around the city.

The bizarre incident started early on a Sunday morning, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A Queensland man driving a rented vehicle was pulled over for driving more than 45 kilometres per hour over the speed limit and had his licence suspended right then and there. However, officers apparently did not take any further action, and less than three hours later, the driver – in the same vehicle – had been involved in a stunning slew of hit-and-runs.

What happened?

Less than an hour after his licence was suspended, the driver allegedly hit two separate cyclists in the span of five minutes, causing injuries ranging from abrasions to fractured ribs and collarbones, the newspaper said. Shortly thereafter, he allegedly rear-ended a driver along the Eastern Distributor tunnel southbound, drove off and hit an SUV within just a few minutes. Then he dangerously reversed toward a pedestrian before hitting a third vehicle instead, according to witnesses.

Within half an hour, he allegedly hit a third cyclist, then 30 minutes after that, he hit another car as well. The streak of accidents ended around 11:15 a.m. when he swerved into another driver's path and hit her vehicle as well. Police arrested him soon thereafter at a petrol station, and he was taken to a hospital for testing.

Getting to the bottom of it

While police have called the incidents "deliberate" and alleged that the driver used the "motor vehicle as a deadly weapon," there were also concerns about his mental health, the Guardian Australia reported. He was being screened such issues at a Sydney hospital but was still expected to be charged upon his release.

"This is not negligent driving," Sydney Police Superintendent Jenny Scholz told reporters. "This is deliberate, dangerous and predatory driving."

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