Rock-throwing incident dents family’s day

There are calls for a protective fence to be installed on the Princes Freeway pedestrian bridge overpass at Moe after a car was hit by a rock thrown from the bridge earlier this month.

Dave, a Traralgon resident, was traveling to Melbourne with his wife and two children on Saturday, 4 March when he noticed three children standing on the pedestrian overpass.

“I saw them from a couple of hundred metres away, I knew they were up to no good because I saw them throwing rocks off the bridge,” Dave, who requested his surname not be used for safety reasons, said.

He said his wife was driving the car at the time when one of the children leaned over and “chucked a rock down onto the car”.

“It landed in between the windscreen and the sunroof and left two big dents in the roof; it could’ve come through the glass and been a lot worse,” Dave said.

“[My wife] hit the brakes and we pulled over into the emergency lane. I got out of the car and inspected the damage and when the kids saw us stop, they panicked and ran off the bridge.”

The incident, reported to Moe police, has left the family traumatised.

“After that, we left (the police station) to go to Melbourne but before we jumped on the freeway we decided to go for a look to try and find these kids,” Dave said.

That’s when the family of four spotted the children.

“They noticed the colour of our car and tried to run off. We called the police and I jumped out (of the car) and made sure they wouldn’t bolt,” he said.

“They admitted it was them, they didn’t care and they didn’t show any remorse.”

Dave called on VicRoads to install a protective fence on the bridge to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.

“We were lucky enough this time to get out of it pretty unscathed but the next time someone could die,” he said.

In a statement to The Express, VicRoads said it shared the community’s concerns about rocks being thrown from bridges but had no current plans to install a protective fence over the bridge.

“While this has previously been investigated, the existing bridge structure is not suitable to safely accommodate the additional weight resulting from the installation of this fence,” VicRoads manager planning eastern region Pas Monacella said.

“The installation of a protective fence on this bridge is only one option in the complex task of protecting motorists on the freeway.

“There is a range of other potential measures that need to be considered, implemented and monitored before installing protective fences, such as community awareness and education initiatives targeting children.

“This is why VicRoads calls on the community to help us keep road users safe and report any suspicious activity around roads and bridges to Victoria Police.”

Moe’s Acting Sergeant Kristin Hodges said police investigated the incident, but were unable to process the children because of their age.

“The kids were too young to process, they were under 10 years,” Act Sgt Hodges said.

“It is an ongoing issue on all of the overpasses in Moe, we often have reports of objects being thrown over the edge, a (protective fence) installed at this bridge would certainly be a benefit to the situation.”