Drunk man refused to pay for taxi and stowed under lorry for 220 miles

ABC News: Truck driver discovers stowaway on undercarriage

A lorry driver was stunned when he discovered a man hidden underneath his truck who had been just inches from death for nearly 220 miles. 

The 43-year-old stowaway is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol when he clambered onto a metal rack suspended below the vehicle for his ride perilously close to the tarmac. 

The unwanted hitchhiker told police he chosen to climb under the lorry at Nambucca Heads in New South Wales, Australia, in the hope it would take him 24 miles north up the coast to his home in Coff’s Harbour. 

But Driver Pardeep Dahiya had only made a brief stop in Nambucca Heads around 1.30am on Friday and his route was taking him more than 300 miles further north to Brisbane in Queensland. 

Mr Dahiya said he first noticed something was wrong when it started to get light. He told ABC News: “When it started to get light, I could see in my mirrors a piece of orange cloth under my trailer.

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Deciding to investigate Mr Dahiya pulled over at an emergency stopping bay close to the New South Wales-Queensland border, around 217 miles from his last stop.

Upon seeing someone under his lorry he said: “When I saw that I took two steps back thinking, ‘What is it?’.

“That’s very different for me. It’s very new for me. I can’t imagine anyone getting in underneath the trailer.”

As the man was under the vehicle one slip could have meant death as it travelled at speeds of 60mph along the highway. 

Mr Dahiya initially took pity on the long-haired tattooed man, but after offering him a seat in his cab he made the decision to call the police around 20 miles north at a service station. 

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Queensland police fined the man £150 and officers said they dropped him at a train station to make his own way home.

Acting Inspector Peter Miles said the 43-year-old had told officers he climbed under the truck at Nambucca Heads, hoping to hitch a ride to Coffs Harbour where he planned to disembark at a red light.

Mr Miles said: “As a result he got a $288 [fine] and a free lift to Coomera railway station for the big trip home south.”

Queensland Trucking Association chief executive Gary Mahon told ABC news the hitchhiker was lucky to be alive.

He said: “You’re travelling at somewhere between 90 to 100 kilometres per hour on a fairly consistent basis and it wouldn’t take much of a slip or a lapse in concentration to have fatal consequences.”

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