Truck driver and truck attacked by street racers in Auckland

8 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 11, 2017

Police and the transport industry are calling for calm after video emerged of street racers assaulting a truck driver in Auckland last Friday night.

Truck driver Jordan Martin says street racers blocked him in as he left the Owen‘s Transport depot in Penrose just after midnight. As he negotiated an intersection near Industry Road, the trailer of his unit clipped the front of one of the cars and briefly dragged it along the road.

Unaware he‘d hit anything, Martin continued driving but was soon surrounded by others in the group and forced to stop. One person opened the passenger door of his truck and starting hitting him over the head with a small fridge, while others attacked the truck, smashing headlights, windows and the windscreen and almost ripping the driver‘s door off its hinges.

Police say when they arrived minutes later, approximately 30 drivers and their passengers had stopped on the road and in car parks around the Oaks Tavern, blocking traffic.

Inspector Rod Honan, road policing manager for Counties Manukau, said what happened was unacceptable but he did not want anyone to take matters into their own hands. He said the CIB was carrying out an investigation and he urged anyone with information to contact the police.

“We‘re only privy to what‘s been posted on social media but it‘s not what I‘d expect to happen after what we‘re led to believe was quite a minor incident. We do not want this to escalate.”

There has been a huge outpouring of support on social media for the truck driver and owner, as well as a lot of anger and talk of taking action against the illegal street racers. It has been reported that the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident has been threatened and lost his job after his employer was allegedly told his business would be burnt down unless he fired the man.

Honan said he was disappointed to hear of the threats.

“The trouble is there are a lot of keyboard warriors out there and people need to take a breath and think about what they are doing and let the police do their job. They need to put themselves in the other person‘s position and think, is this how they would like their families to be treated?”

Honan said the police worked hard with the community to keep the roads safe but they could only do so much with the resources they had, which is why it was important for the community to help them.

“I have moved some of my resources into the areas of concern, particularly Industry Road. We are working with the businesses as our eyes and ears as we can‘t be there 24/7, so if anyone sees anything they are concerned about then they should ring 111.”

National Road Carriers chief executive officer David Aitken said he was disgusted when he heard the news.

“Given that he‘s in an industrial area, a young driver just trying to go about his job, they [the street racers] shouldn‘t have been in the area. I see they have come out and said they were not blocking the road, but nothing excuses them from violence. They haven‘t got a leg to stand on – they were illegally gathered.”

A relative of one of the street racers claimed Martin had deliberately swerved towards them but Aitken doesn‘t buy that, saying he agrees with the owner of the truck that the driver wouldn‘t have stopped if he‘d tried to do any harm to them.

“There is evidence of what these young hoons did; just let the police sort it out,” said Aitken. “We don‘t want to escalate this any further because it‘s just going to get out of hand. We don‘t want any retribution, we want the industry to show leadership and let the right people sort it out in the correct way.

“As representatives of the transport industry and the trucking sector, we need to take the high moral ground and let the police sort it out. Let‘s give the public a reason to actually like us.”

Aitken said the transport industry was trying to avoid and reduce congestion by working at night and on weekends, and to have this kind of thing happening was disappointing.

“A lot of people want trucks off the road and the industry does as much as it can at night and in the weekends, and to have this going on, it‘s disappointing.”

Truck driver Geoffrey Stephens is also wary of people taking the law into their own hands

“After the events in the weekend this could have been any one of us. My thoughts go out to the driver in his recovery. I feel the anger – it is good to see all of us drivers uniting together at this time – but we should be venting our anger in a positive way that isn’t going to tarnish the industry. We should let the police do their job and prosecute the boy racers in question.”

Thankfully Martin only received minor injuries, but truck owner Paul Stone of Blue Ice Logistics in Rotorua estimates repairs will cost thousands.

A Givealittle page has been set up to raise funds for Martin and Stone –

Anyone with any information or video footage of this incident should contact Manukau Police station on 09-2611300, quoting incident P030117819.

Information may also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.