BORDER road workers were forced to leap out of the path of a car which reached speeds of close to 200km/h while involved in a police pursuit yesterday which covered several hundred kilometres from Benalla.
Last night, the gold Nissan X-Trail had travelled as far north as Bathurst, with police having called off the chase several times on safety grounds.
The vehicle had first come to the attention of police on the Hume Freeway at Benalla about 10.50am after another motorist called them.
The Queensland-registered vehicle, which police believed was stolen, had three people on board, reportedly a male driver, another man and a woman.
By 5pm yesterday, the Nissan had travelled at least 500 kilometres over six hours through Wodonga, Albury, Wagga, Temora, Young and Cowra, stopping several times for fuel, including at Ebden near Lake Hume.
Joey Delphin, of Riverina Traffic Services, was directing traffic on the northbound lane of Table Top Road at Table Top when the vehicle came “pumping through” at an estimated 140km/h.
“I put my stop bat out in front of me for him to stop,” Mr Delphin said.
“Another fella said he wasn’t going to stop.
“He went flying through.
“I would have been one to two metres away from him.
“There would have been about eight of us at the site and they all jumped off the road.”
Catherine Murray had earlier served the female passenger at the Kangaroo General Store at Ebden, unaware police had been seeking the vehicle and its driver.
“I was just distracted by the girl who came in, she tried to pay for drinks with a card and it was declined,” she said.
“It wasn’t until she went back out to the car that I noticed it was leaving without them paying for fuel.”
The woman was captured on security cameras and the vehicle had been filled with fuel worth $91 before the driver headed towards Lake Hume.
Police took copies of the footage and Ms Murray described the woman as young, aged in her 20s, and “a bit rough around the edges”.
During the pursuit those in the vehicle had thrown gumboots, a headrest and a sun visor from the vehicle.
Sgt Andrew Wilson, of Wodonga police, said there were concerns for both the safety of the public and those in the Nissan during the pursuit.
“Those sorts of speeds are ridiculous and it puts members of the public at risk, and themselves,” he said.
“We tried a variety of ways to ensure the situation could be resolved, but it continued into NSW.”
Sgt Wilson said the speed of the vehicle had varied during the pursuit.
Officers from several Victorian police stations met at Wodonga yesterday afternoon to attend a debrief as their NSW officers continued to try to track down the vehicle.