Chloe Sten, of South Lismore, was shaken when the passenger side door of her car was hit by a rock late at night as she was driving along Ballina Road in Goonellabah.
Chloe Sten, of South Lismore, was shaken when the passenger side door of her car was hit by a rock late at night as she was driving along Ballina Road in Goonellabah. Jacklyn Wagner

Driver attacked by rock-thrower

CHLOE Sten didn’t know what had hit her while driving home alone late at night last week.

The 18-year-old was returning to Lismore on Ballina Road about 11.30pm when a rock was thrown at the front passenger door of her car.

“I was just driving along and felt this really loud bang,” she said.

“It scared the hell out of me and I swerved.

“Luckily there were no other cars on the road.”

She was passing the Lismore Heights Post Office just before the roundabout when the incident occurred.

“Funnily enough there was a police car on the roundabout at the time but I didn’t think to stop them,” she said.

Ms Sten, who has only just got her drivers licence, and her first car, was rattled by the experience and is angry that someone would do such a thing.

“At first I thought something had blown up – until I realised there was nothing on the passenger side that could explode,” she said.

“I had no idea what had happened but it was dark and I wasn’t going to stop.

“I checked it out the next morning and found the dent in the door and realised what had happened.

“It pisses me off that someone would do that.”

Ms Sten said she didn’t think of calling the police until she read about another rock throwing incident in Oliver Avenue about the same time.

“It seems to be happening more and more,” she said.

“I’ve only had the car three months. It’s my first car and it means a lot to me.

“It was scary because I was by myself and it has made me a little nervous (about driving at night).”

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said it was a disturbing trend and urged people to report any incidents of rock throwing.

“We do take this very seriously. It is a very dangerous act that could have catastrophic consequences,” he said.

“There have been a few reports lately which is a worry – but a number of people have been identified and charged for this type of activity.”

Insp Moore said the disturbing trend was not isolated to the Northern Rivers.

“The seriousness of this issue has been recognised at the highest levels of government which is reflected in the increased penalties. Offenders can face up to five years in jail,” he said.

ROCK-THROWING outlawed

• In May 2008 the New South Wales Government introduced laws making it illegal to throw rocks at vehicles or boats.

• Someone found guilty of the offence could spend up to five years in jail.

• In 1998 a NSW father-of-two died when a rock was dropped on his truck from a bridge on the Hume Highway in Sydney.

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