A CHILTERN police officer has told how the victim of a Hume Highway road rage incident was “slam dunked” by a driver upset when he was overtaken.
Leading Sen-Constable Dave Richards was first on the scene when a Wangaratta man, 20, called police to the incident, four kilometres north of Springhurst on Wednesday night.
Sen-Constable Richards said the victim had found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when he had tried to do the right thing.
The Wangaratta man had been driving north along the highway in his new $50,000 Mazda MX-5 when about 5.35pm he overtook a Toyota Camry travelling in the right-hand lane.
Police allege the second driver was a Tatura man, 20, who they say was driving alone on L-plates when he started swerving his vehicle at the Mazda.
When the victim, a P-plater, put his brakes on to allow the Toyota to pass, the other driver allegedly also slammed on his brakes, but lost control, then immediately swerved back on to the road.
The victim decided to phone police, pulling his vehicle over to the side of the road to make the call.
But he was again followed by the alleged offender who police allege rammed his Toyota up the back of the Mazda.
Both cars were write-offs.
Police said they are unsure whether the Toyota then travelled a further 30 metres until it struck a tree, or whether the offender deliberately ran his vehicle into it.
But they say that even after his car was destroyed, the victim got out of his Mazda to check if the other man was all right.
When the other man produced a stick, the Mazda driver returned to his car to await for police.
Sen-Constable Richards said the victim “could hardly talk, he was shaking and shocked”.
“He’s a young bloke, too nice for his own good,” he said.
“He did nothing wrong ... this bloke didn’t just give him a nudge, he slam dunked him.”
Police said the victim had only bought the Mazda a month ago after taking out a loan.
Both men were taken to Wangaratta hospital by ambulance for observation but neither was injured.
Sen-Constable Richards said that the alleged offender had been living in his car.
“He’s taken it out on the victim, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
The Tatura man will be charged on summons with several offences including conduct likely to cause serious injury or death.
He will appear at Wangaratta Magistrates Court on August 13.