told to form 'suicidal' roadblock for speeding Melbourne driver
Police in Australia have been accused of forcing motorists to form a "suicidal" roadblock to stop a speeding car during a police pursuit.
By Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney
2:44PM BST 15 May 2012
Drivers on a highway outside Melbourne said they became "sitting ducks" as they waited for a car allegedly driving at 130 miles per hour to crash into them.
David Rendina, who was in a car with his girlfriend and two children, described being ordered to pull into a side lane to form a roadblock and then watching as the speeding driver approached and smashed into him.
Police also ordered drivers to block the two main lanes of the highway.
"I pretty much knew I was a sitting duck," he told ABC Radio. "I just remember visualising [him] speeding towards me and going, 'well, there's nothing I can do here'... He hit me, hit the car next to me, come back, hit the car in front of me and went into the back of the car in front of that before coming to a stop."
Police have launched an investigation into the incident although no one aside from the driver was injured.
"I think it was suicidal," said another motorist, Natalie Grimmer. "I said someone's going to get absolutely killed. There's just nowhere for that car to go."
The driver, Ashley Steel, 19, who was in a stolen car and holds a learner's licence, eventually collided with four cars and a concrete barrier. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries and has been charged with theft of a motor car and charges of reckless conduct endangering life.
Victoria's police defended the roadblock tactic, saying they were concerned the speeding driver would enter Melbourne and "kill someone".
"This guy was driving like a maniac to be quite frank," said Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana