This week has been a series of unfortunate events for the older residents of Townsville, Queensland after two major road incidents occurred within 24 hours of each other.
On Monday, an older man in an electronic wheelchair was hit and killed by a car as he attempted to visit the local shops while Tuesday saw an older woman injured as her car was hijacked in an act of charity.
Local police have said 85-year-old Rudy Hummer’s mobility aid and a Holden Monaro collided on Alfred Street in the suburb of Aitkenvale on Monday afternoon as the man was attempting to go to the local shopping centre. The former mechanic was taken to Townsville University Hospital in a critical condition with leg injuries but died later that night.
Local residents told ABC News heard the crash and said there had been concerns about safe access to the shopping complex for residents, many of whom are older.
One of Mr Hummer’s neighbours said signs advertising the area as a “safety zone” had been ripped out by vandals and would flag it with the local council.
The driver of the car was not hurt and is assisting police and the Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the crash.
The following day, an older woman, 80, received a knock on the door of her Hermit Park home from two women who asked her for a drink of water and a lift to a location in Rosslea.
The woman drove the pair to the location when the passengers’ attitudes changed. When the woman told them to get out of her car, the passengers grew violent, stole the car keys and pushed her out of the car.
Police found the woman with minor injuries wandering around the suburb that afternoon and told officers she was “in shock and in a bit of a daze.” Attending paramedics tended to the woman at the scene but she did not require further treatment.
Senior Sergeant Scot Warwick told media he was “lost for words” at the incident.
“It’s disgraceful and I think the community will be outraged by this.”
Police are still searching for the stolen car and two offenders who are believed to be of First Nations descent and aged in their late teens or early 20s.
Police want to hear from any witnesses or anyone with footage of both instances. To report any information, visit the Queensland Police website here or call 131 444.