A man has burns to his legs and face after what police are describing as a road rage incident on one of Tasmania’s major highways.
- Police allege a firecracker was thrown from one moving car into another
- The driver of the second car has “nasty” burns to his legs
- Police believe the alleged attack was not racially motivated
The man was travelling south on the Midland Highway on Friday night when a passing vehicle threw a firecracker through his partially open window.
Police Inspector Troy Morrisby said the attack happened near Campbell Town just before 8:00pm.
“He’s been driving south on the Midland Highway and had had a car following him for a period of time and at one point he’s signalled for that car to go past him and he’s had his window partially down,” he said.
“As the car has gone past it’s pulled along side the victim and has thrown what we believed to be a firecracker into his vehicle which has resulted in him receiving some nasty burns to his legs, thigh and some secondary burns to his facial region as well.”
Inspector Morrisby said the incident could have had fatal consequences.
“The ability to distract someone travelling on a highway that has a legal speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour … very fortunate that it wasn’t far more serious and there wasn’t a vehicle accident as well,” he said.
The man managed to keep driving until he reached Bridgewater, 112 kilometres down the highway, where he contacted relatives who in turn contacted police.
Inspector Morrisby said it was believed to be a random incident.
“If anything [it] relates to a road rage incident — extremely reckless, extremely dangerous and it’s something that we’re treating extremely seriously.”
“I am aware that there had been some suggestion that this could have been racially motivated, given that we know the victim does have Middle Eastern nationality, but can I just assure everyone that there is absolutely no information or no evidence that suggests in any way that this was motivated by race.”
The man remains in the Royal Hobart Hospital.
Police are looking of the driver of the other car.