Abandoned in the middle of the highway

Picture this…. I’m driving home just got past Inkerman on the way to Home Hill and here is a car stopped on my side of the road in the middle of a two-way highway. I slowed and overtook it with care (oncoming traffic and traffic behind me). I immediately threw the hazard lights on and did a u-bolt and drove back down and parked in a farm drive way. Thinking twice, I grabbed my work pocket knife and locked the car… C’mon, we’ve all heard the stories…

There was no driver. I called 112 (emergency mobile number) and spoke to the very helpful cop as I walked to the car “Hello Townsville Police Emergency Response” “G’day, there is a car parked in the middle of the Bruce Highway between Inkerman and Home Hill, I am wlking towards it now to attempt to push it off the road.”

“Okay, do have a rego number?”

“Hang-on I’m putting it in neutral” I found the keys missing, but windows down, sandals still on the floor of the drivers seat. Where the hell is the driver? “I’m pushing it off the highway now… Fuck Steering lock is set wrong…. Hang on.” “Excuse me? Is the…”

I put the phone in my top pocket and shoulder charged the cars front side… These new subaru’s are very light…. The wheels turned enough with the half inch movement of the front end, I picked up the phone “hopefully this works, the steering lock is on.”

“Is it safe to move the vehicle?”

“I’m wearing high vis and traffic is slowing down for me… But I can’t leave it on the road.”

“Okay, do you have the rego number”

“gimme a sec, still pushing, it isn’t a good angle…” 15 meters later…

“Okay I got the rego it’s ******”

“Is the car off the road? IS there any other hazards?”

“Nope, all good mate.”

“Can you see the driver?”

“Gimme a sec..” I look into the drains on either side of the road, look up and down the highway. “Nope, long gone, but there is a car pulling over.”

“Okay John, I will see if I can contact the driver, can I call you on this number?”

“Yup, no worries.”

The cop hangs up and that suspicious car pulls up with three blokes in it the driver asks very sternly in a thick Korean accent “Where is the driver?” (Well this is suspicious)

“Dunno, mate. The car was in the middle of the highway and I had to push it off the road, the cops are about to call me back after they contact him.”

“What were you doing to the car?” he asked very angrily

This time I explained slowly as I grew to my full height with chest semi puffed out… “The car was in the middle of the highway parked right in the lane… There was no driver, no keys, so I had to push the car off the road before there was an accident.”

“Where is the driver?”

“I don’t fucking know, he wasn’t here. The car was parked in the middle of the bloody highway and I pushed it off the bloody road before an accident happened.”

The passenger gets out quickly, and I was put on the back foot and pulled my puncy pocket knife. “No, No, I gotta check the car” he says, and decides to move around the back of the car instead of my way. I put the work knife back in my pocket, genuinely relaxed now as I see the driver a little shaken. “You called police?” in a friendly tone

“Yeah, mate…” I replied back just as friendly, “It is a reported incident and just in case the driver was hurt.”

The phone rings and I answer it. “Hello John this is ***** from Townsville police emergency response”

“g’day sir”

“I’ve contacted the driver, he is about 70 and says he is walking back with a battery now.”

“Okay mate, thanks for that, a car pulled up asking for the driver, the rego is *****.” I followed with a description of the drivers. The polite police man reckons “Covering all bases, eh John? Thankyou for you help and removing the car from the highway. The driver should be there soon.”

“You said he was walking back?”


“I can see both ways for 50 clicks… There is no-one walking.” I remarked with concern

“I’m sorry John, but now that the hazard has been removed and the driver has been contacted and it seems there is people there waiting for him there. There isn’t an immediate emergency, no longer. We can follow this up, though.”

“nah, no need to press charges or anything, no-one probably stopped to pull over, I know there was 50 cars in front of me stuck at the last road works. But if a report is required you know how to contact me.”

“HA! Righto, John. Thankyou once again, and if we need to follow this up we’ll contact you. Thanks again.”


I told the driver of the suspicious car the other driver was walking back with a battery and as I left him with a confused look across his mug I jumped in my car and started to drive off slowly to make sure I didn’t hit the passenger running across the road. The driver yells out “Thankyou, you are a very kind person.”

I nodded and waved and headed home.  That’s my good deed for the month.

~ by John the Aussie on June 12, 2013.

13 Responses to “Abandoned in the middle of the highway”

  1. I guess, if you’re car decides to die it’s too much to ask to coast off the middle of the lane. I saw an old lady pushing a baby buggy in the middle of the road here last week. I just let it go. But I did listen for screeching tires & screams until my smoke finished. She made it out of ear shot. She looked around 70 also.

    • I’m more surprised no-one else stopped before me. I was talking to a mate at the local police station who was returning home from work, he was 15 minutes in front of me. And I was literally the first to report it.

  2. This story was anticlimactic. I was waiting for something to go wrong…or at least a fight scene. You would have won. Can you rewrite it? :p

  3. I can understand someone leaving their car to go get gas or a new battery, well sort of, but leaving their sandals (or any footwear) still in the car is just weird. How far did this guy walk?

    I was expecting something way more sinister! And I have to ask, is there really a place called Townsville? That’s not made up or anything? I’m sure I’ve heard that in Scooby Doo before now!

    Good on yer though for doing a good deed! Paid forward nicely!

    • Aye, there is a place called Townsville.

      It was 5 km’s back to a service station that wouldn’t of had batteries and 13 km’s to the next town.

      Townsville is a real place, but it was also the city in Power Puff Girls… You just admitted to watching it once or twice…

  4. You sir are a great man. I am glad to know you.

  5. Paying it forward!

  6. What a bloody fine thing to do! Good job!

  7. Such a weird story! Why did the fella not take his shoes? I hope he was hitch hiking I dont reckon a barefoot 70 year old should be walking by a highway in North Queensland lugging a battery! What do you think the other lot was up to?

  8. Brave move there John – speaking for all those people who were not injured or killed: “thank you!”
    The takeaway here is if your vehicle breaks down in the roadway and you are too “whatever” to push it – at least steer it slightly toward the berm before you pull the keys 😉 (but seriously if you can walk all that way toting a car battery you can surely push a Subaru – *sheesh* )

Go on, give us a yarn or two, mate.

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