Stone's throw from disaster
IF ANDREW BLASCHE had been leaning forward to see around a corner during his driving lesson in Casino on Tuesday night he might not be alive today. Just after 7pm a rock bigger than a tennis ball smashed through the driver's side window and missed his face by centimetres.
And Andrew's horrified father, Sieghard Blasche, had a clear view of the young man who threw the rock from the pavement on James Street.
“I just don't understand what makes someone do something like that,” Mr Blasche said.
Police have confirmed that they get 'regular' reports of rocks being thrown at cars in Casino, particularly from the railway bridge.
“It's a problem that we would really appreciate the community's support in solving,” Inspector Nicole Bruce said.
Seventeen-year-old Andrew said he managed to keep control of his car because he was driving at less than 50km/h.
“The rock went straight across my face, bounced off the frontseat passenger's headrest and landed on the back seat,” he said.
Andrew did not stop the car, because his father told him to drive on to the police station.
“We didn't pull over because we didn't know what this man was going to do next,” Mr Blasche said.
Andrew, who has been on his L-plates for almost a year, said the incident had not deterred him from driving.
He needs a licence to drive from his parents' home in Fairy Hill to his apprenticeship in Casino.
But his second-hand Suzuki Swift has been damaged.
“I'm just hoping it will be repaired in time for my driving test on September 14,” he said.
However, he said he would never drive around Casino at night again.
No one has yet been arrested for the attack on Andrew's car.
Inspector Bruce said throwing rocks or other objects at cars was an offence under the NSW Crimes Act and carried a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment.
She said anyone who saw people throwing rocks at cars should call police immediately.
Police would also like to hear from anyone who can identify rock-throwers in Casino.
“You can be sent to jail for this because of the seriousness of the crime. People can be, and have been, killed by rocks,” Inspector Bruce said.