Enraged driver closes highway

WHEN Rockhampton police pulled over a Gladstone man for speeding, the last thing they expected was a two-hour stand-off that would close down the Bruce Highway.

The 23-year-old man was allegedly clocked doing 129kmh in a 100 zone near Raglan on the Bruce Highway, south of Rockhampton, about 1.50pm Saturday and when police pulled him over they discovered his licence was disqualified.

They informed him this meant they would have to impound his vehicle.

A police spokesman said the man then went into a rage, damaging his own car before pulling a knife from within it. The spokesman said the man presented the knife to police and threatened to harm himself with it.

This resulted in a siege where the man sat on the roof of his car, continually threatening self-harm as police negotiators were called in.

North-bound traffic was stopped at 2.30pm before being detoured around the incident via Raglan Station Road.

At 3.20pm south-bound traffic was also stopped, bringing the entire highway to a halt.

Among those caught up in the traffic were the Gladstone Sparks Hockey Club A1 men and women’s teams.

Club president and player Jason Burns said the two teams were on the bus headed to Rockhampton to play when they were stopped by the roadblocks.

He said the bus was held up about 500m from the roadblock and after walking to the front of the line was still unable to see what was causing the commotion.

Choosing to take the Raglan Station Road detour, the teams managed to make their way to Rockhampton, though they were 10 minutes late to the girls’ game.

"Eight of them ran off the bus all dressed and onto the field," Jason said.

Jason said some other players who had been travelling to Rockhampton separately were caught up as far back as the Mount Larcom Service Station.

The man was taken into custody soon after 3pm and police advised the highway was reopened about 3.45pm. the road was re-opened but police weren’t able to safely bring the man in until 8pm.

Police could not confirm which direction the man was travelling in at the time he was pulled over.

He has been charged with speeding, public nuisance, serious assault/obstruction of a police officer, possessing a knife in a public place, driving while disqualified and resisting arrest.

He is set to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on July 4.



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