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Veteran truckie fights off carload of assailants in northern NSW town

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Peter Dickinson, 68, wasn’t going to let them get his wallet, whatever it took.

With time up on his book, the veteran truckie of 48 years had pulled up for a break at the Shell truck stop in Boggabilla, in northern NSW, as he often does on his runs to Melbourne for the Gayndah-based Brown’s Citrus Transport.

But at 2.30am on Wednesday, June 14, as his alarm was just going off, he awoke to find a masked intruder breaking into his cab.

“He was trying to drag me out, then I pushed him away and he made the fatal mistake of letting go of the grab rail and grabbing hold of the door frame,” Dickinson told Big Rigs.

“When he grabbed the door frame, I shut the door on his fingers.

“I opened the door and he fell down on the ground. I asked him to give me the truck keys and he just come at me.”

As he fought to defend himself from the ensuing attacks, Dickinson says he managed to subdue two of the assailants, who he believes were teenagers, but didn’t see a third who hit him across the back with a golf club.

Dickinson later found out there were three carloads of attackers at the Shell that night, who had allegedly broken into the nearby motel, terrorising guests and stealing property and cars.

“He got me unexpected. Hit me three times across the back but they got the shock of their lives because I never went down.

“I turned around and said, ‘Who are you?’, and they shit themselves and ran to the car.

“If they had got me on the ground it would have been a different story, I would have been in trouble.”

Dickinson said he took the rego details of each car before they fled the scene.

“They never had the plates covered so they had to have been stolen.”

He alleges that there were five other trucks at the site the youths had been trying to break into, plus a campervan driven by an older couple who had tried to drive off.

Dickinson says the Shell attendant rang the police but that’s as far as it went.

“The coppers rang from Moree and they weren’t that interested. They just said if you see the cars again give us a ring.

“I found out later that they [the attackers] must have gone back to the Shell and bashed up another truck driver pretty badly. He’s not real good in hospital, from what I’ve been told. He’ll need facial reconstruction.”

Dickinson says he fears for the safety of drivers and the youths, who “have no fear”, and is telling his story in the hope it will help others.

“They [the police] just seem too scared to touch them. They don’t seem to want to do anything about it.”

Big Rigs also contact NSW Police for comment, but at the time of writing have received no response. Viva Energy, which owns and operates the Shell-branded service stations in Australia, has also been contacted for comment.

“I said to the coppers, you’ve got to do something soon or you’re going to get a truck driver who is going to drop a couple, and you can’t blame them for that,” Dickinson added.

“We’re just trying to do our job and have a break and yet we’re getting bashed.”

Another truckie, whose husband who regularly stops in Boggabilla on his interstate runs, says there have always been issues in the town but lately it’s gone up “200 per cent”.

“The police are saying don’t stop there, but that’s not the answer,” said the truckie, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions.

“When these boys’ logbooks tell them they have to stop, they’ve got no choice, they have to stop.

“I don’t know where to go with it, I really don’t.”

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