AN ALBURY taxi driver threw himself on the bonnet of his vehicle to avoid being run over by his attackers in a terrifying ordeal early yesterday.
The nightmare started after the 33-year-old driver dropped off three passengers in Kaitler’s Road about 1am.
The men paid for their fare and turned on the driver, dragging him from the vehicle where he was assaulted before the trio stole the cab.
The boss of Albury Taxis, Tim O’Dea, was told the men drove the vehicle at high speed towards the driver.
“As they drove away, they put it in reverse to run him over,” he said.
Mr O’Dea said that during the incident the driver had to throw himself on the bonnet to avoid being seriously hit.”
Mr O’Dea condemned the attackers, saying everyone should feel safe at their place of work.
“He was incredibly shaken up and I thank the members of the public that assisted after finding him on the side of the road,” he said.
The driver was taken to hospital for X-rays and he was released soon after.
Police were called to the scene and soon after received a call about a car fire in Murphy Street, Springdale Heights.
They arrived at the scene to find the taxi well alight.
Yesterday the driver was resting at home.
“He’s a little worse for wear, we are just thankful he didn’t receive a serious injury,” Mr O’Dea said.
Albury Taxis believe the security in place is sufficient.
“We have most of the safety and security measures in place, there’s state-of-the-art cameras that monitor inside and outside the vehicle,” Mr O’Dea said.
“The one thing we don’t have is the plastic perspex screen around drivers.
“When I took over 12 months ago I asked the drivers if they felt they needed it, but they all said no.
“They don’t want the disconnection from the public.”
Albury acting inspector Gary Lewis said assaults on taxi drivers providing a service to the community would not be tolerated.
Two men were arrested at a Springdale Heights home yesterday but they were released pending further inquiries.
Police will review security camera footage.