A 52-year-old Alice Springs tow truck driver has lost sight in one eye, after a rock came through the window of his tow truck and struck him in the face.
Matt Page, who has been a truckie for most of his working life, has worked as a tow truck driver for Hosetech for around five years.
On the evening of Wednesday March 15, he was driving back to the compound after a vehicle recovery, when the incident occurred.
“He was picking up a stolen vehicle. It was about 10.30pm and it was a nice evening so he had the driver’s side window down. Someone has thrown a rock and it’s hit him in the eye,” explained Hosetech owner Andrew Mowles.
The rock throwing incident occurred at the intersection of Larapinta Drive and the Stuart Highway, with Page transported to the Alice Springs Hospital with serious injuries to his eye following the alleged attack.
“Once it hit him, he was in quite a bit of shock and quite disoriented. The impact of the rock cut the eyeball in half. He’s just come home from hospital but he won’t ever see out of that eye again. He’s 52 years old and his life has been changed forever.
“He loves trucks and loves the job. We have the contract here for police recovery and the coppers know him. He has a really great reputation.”
Sadly, it’s not the first time Page has been targeted in a rock attack. Mowles revealed that Page had a window smashed by a rock around 12 months ago. “Luckily that time it was on the passenger side,” he said, adding that it’s happened to his drivers on other occasions too.
In fact, rock attacks have become such an issue that Mowles now keeps spare windows on hand in case they’re needed. But he’s now planning on going another step further.
“One of my suppliers has had their truck windows covered with a film so they don’t shatter, which we’re looking to also do. We’re also briefing our drivers that they need to have the windows up when they’re driving,” said Mowles.
He says much more needs to be done to help prevent these sorts of incidents.
“There’s just no accountability for these actions. Emergency services are all reactive, not proactive, so it’s after it’s already happened. We need to police our way out of this and hammer the government. Things need to change.”
The Criminal Investigation Branch are appealing for any witnesses to the incident. “Investigators would like to hear from anyone who may have been driving in that area at the time of incident, particularly if you have dash cam footage,” said NT Police.
“Anyone who may have information is urged to make contact on 131 444, please quote 10288323.”