‘Someone shot at me!’: Truckie’s lucky escape along bypass
IF THE bullet was shot only five seconds earlier, truck driver Stuart Hardie might not have lived to tell this tale.
Last Friday, the 50-year-old was driving through the Toowoomba Bypass, bringing a load from Brisbane back to John Ryan Removals' headquarters in Dandenong when he heard a loud bang.
Startled, he looked back in his rearview mirror and saw nothing but a coke bottle on the road behind him.
"I just kept going and didn't notice anything until I stopped for my rest break at Goondiwindi," he said.
It was when he was checking his trailers that he discovered the bullet hole.
"Put the wind up me a bit when I found the hole," he said.
"It went straight through the trailer, in one side, clean through some of the load in the trailer -the customer's nice, clean dresses - and out the other.
"The hole is so big you can put your little finger through it. I keep thinking, what if it was five seconds earlier? It might have hit the cab and god knows what would happen to the truck - or me."
Stuart said he'd been told by quite a few people who had hunting experience that it most likely came from a "quite large calibre rifle."
Stuart said when he informed his boss of the situation, he was dumbfounded.
"I was like, 'Someone shot at me!' and he didn't believe me until he saw the photos. He was a bit freaked out, it was a first for him. He's never had anyone shoot at his trucks before."
Stuart, who has only been driving semi trailers for about 12 months but has been with John Ryan Removals for years, said he was grateful he didn't find out what had happened until he stopped.
"I'm lucky I didn't realise as I was driving because I would have been thinking about it the entire time," he said.
But he's not letting it get to him - he jumped back in the truck (the trailer is due to be repaired today) and is trucking on.
As for any theories of what happened? It's anyone's best guess.
"It could have been a stray bullet or someone out in a paddock," Stuart said.
John Ryan Removals filed a police report.
Queensland Police Media have been contacted for comment.