‘Like a gunshot’: Mum feared for life as rock hurled at car
A YOUNG mother is calling for mandatory safety screens across all highway overpasses after she and her children were almost killed when a large rock was hurled at her car on the Bruce Highway on Friday night.
Kayla Batley was driving with her nine-year-old son and seven-week-old daughter from the Sunshine Coast to Gympie, on their way home to Rockhampton, when someone dropped the large rock on her windscreen from the Belli Creek Rd overpass at Cooroy.
"I saw this guy put something over the edge of the overpass," she said.
"Next minute, bang, it hit my windscreen. It was like a gunshot.
"It was directly in line with me, so if it had of got a little bit higher and come through the windscreen I would have been dead and the kids would have been dead."
When the rock hit Ms Batley's windscreen glass shards flew through the car, cutting her and her infant daughter, Amaya, in her rear-facing car seat.
"When it hit … I got a mouth full of glass shards," she said, referencing how her mouth opened in shock when she saw the rock coming.
"I was in so much shock.
"My mouth was all full of glass, I just didn't know what to do. (The baby) had a few cuts on her face on her head, the glass was all in her hair."
Ms Batley went to Gympie Hospital to get her children assessed and reported the incident to police, but said she said she couldn't get out of her head that "somebody tried to kill me".
"It's attempted murder as far as I'm concerned," she said. "It would have been a whole lot worse for someone who isn't a confident driver."
The 30-year-old said all existing overpasses should have safety structures installed to prevent dangerous objects being thrown on cars.
A Queensland Police Service spokesman said officers were investigating the incident, but no one had been caught.
He said if caught, the offender would likely face charges of life endangering acts and wilful damage.
Anyone who was driving along the Bruce Highway at Cooroy on Friday night and witnessed the incident or had dashcam footage in the area is urged to contact police.
A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said anyone who had an object thrown at their car should report the incident to police.
"We undertake a risk assessment of all structures on state controlled roads," the spokeswoman said.
"The implementation of protective screens on newly-built overpasses is dependent on whether a risk is identified at the planning stage.
"New bridges built from private development over state-controlled roads are required to provide screens.
"With existing overpasses, the risk can be periodically assessed through a formal risk assessment process."