‘Just stupidity’: Drunk NSW stowaway travels 400km up Australia’s east coast in truck undercarriage
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
But an Australian man is now regretting his boozy decision to stow away under a truck instead of taking a cab, after arriving almost 400km away in a different state, a decision with hindsight he described as “just stupidity, to be honest with you”.
The 43-year-old had a “bit to drink” in Nambucca Heads when he came up with a unique plan for the 50km journey to Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales, usually a half-hour drive.
Instead of organising an Uber or calling a cab, the man decided to climb into the undercarriage of a stationary double semi-trailer while truck driver Pardeep Dahiya slept.
The man crawled onto metal racks beneath the truck, which were barely a metre from the ground.
He aimed to get out when the vehicle stopped at a red light at Coffs Harbour.
However, when Dahiya awoke he proceeded to have one of the great green light runs truck drivers enjoy.
He did not stop until he had reached the Gold Coast, about four hours later.
The truck driver noticed something under the B-double trailer’s carriage before finally pulling over on the Queensland tourist strip.
To his surprise the 43-year-old climbed out from underneath.
“It’s very new for me,” Dahiya told ABC Radio.
When police arrived, the stowaway could be heard telling officers: “I’m really stressed out, I had a bit to drink.”
The man told them he was from the Sunshine Coast but had travelled from Coffs Harbour after he “got a lift with a truck driver”.
“You’ve had a big session, lost all control, ended up here somehow and now you’ve got to try and work your way back?” an officer asked.
“Pretty much,” the man replied.
“Well, that’s a good session,” the officer said.
The officers looked stunned when the man told them he travelled in the truck’s undercarriage.
“So you are actually underneath the truck, going 110km/h or whatever – no wonder you are anxious, you’re not allowed to do that,” an officer said.
Another officer could be heard laughing when the man explained he hoped to jump out at Coffs Harbour but the truck driver “got a green light the whole way through and never stopped until here”.
“So you’ve been under that truck since Coffs Harbour?” the officer asked.
“Just stupidity to be honest with you,” the man replied.
The officer said: “You were a foot off the road, it is extraordinarily dangerous.”
The man was fined $288.
“Police then transported the male to the Coomera railway station for the long trip back south,” a police statement said.