Police negotiators try to calm driver raging across Coast
POLICE were forced to use stingers to stop a man raging through the streets of the Sunshine Coast.
The stretch between Nambour Connection Rd and the Nambour General Hospital turned red and blue as a large number of police responded to calls from the public of a man in a green Mitsubishi van driving in an erratic manner.
The car was first spotted at Caloundra and a call-out was issued to all officers to be on the look out for the driver.
The next time he was spotted at Currie St, Nambour just before 7pm. When police attempted to intercept, he accelerated towards Nambour Connection Rd.
The next step was to gain contact with the driver
A Police Media spokeswoman said the man was threatening self harm while driving the vehicle and that police were required to step in to reduce the impact on both himself and the community.
Police negotiators spoke with the man on the phone as he continued to travel across the Coast in an attempt to bring a stop to the incident by calming him down.
He was spotted again at Parklands where he evaded police again before heading for Nambour Connection Rd at Woombye.
The driver sat in his car, stationary, until police arrived and he sped away again.
Police set up barriers and traffic diversions on the Bruce Highway at Kiels Mountain when the man made his way to the high-speed area.
The driver was cornered when he reached the car park of Nambour General Hospital and police deployed stingers to bring the potentially dangerous situation to an end.
But the driver had other ideas.
He drove for another 15km with flat tyres, travelling west on Mapleton Rd, coming to a stop at Kureelpa.
The driver has been taken to Nambour General Hospital. No charges have been laid, however, police are investigating the incident.
Sunshine Coast Road Policing Unit officer in charge Shane Panoho said the first priority for police was to help assist the man.
"There are a number of people in our community who do unfortunately suffer from mental health issues," Snr Sgt Shane Panoho said.
"The team work of police brought this matter to a safe conclusion where the driver was removed from the vehicle and given medical assistance.
"If someone is suffering from mental health issues we would urged them to get assistance from government agencies or a friend or family member, before trying to operate a vehicle in such a state where they are putting themselves and other road users at risk."
No charges have been laid, however, police are investigating the incident.
Anyone needing support or information about suicide prevention should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 and for those affected by suicide, please contact StandBy Response Service on 0407 766 961.