Neville Murray was about to order from a McDonald’s drive thru menu board, when his Nissan Maxima was bumped from behind, with enough force against the brakes, to shove it off the speed bump on which its rear wheels had sat.
No damage seen to theirs, his wife observed the front number plate of the following Commodore had been pushed in, making it impossible to read. She surmised it had collided with their towbar. Neville stayed put in the driver’s seat and reported the ding to management via the ordering intercom.
The efficient-as-always voice that came down – after a short pause – in response, asked him to place his order and then move on to the next window. There – as he placed a banknote in the store clerk’s outstretched hand – he asked to speak to the manager.
Request noted, he moved forward to window 3 where his order was passed into the Nissan’s front window with instructions to drive forward into the pickup bay, so the manager could come out and attend to his concerns.
As the Commodore cruised past their stopped vehicle on its way out of the restaurant premises, Mrs Murray jumped out to remonstrate with the Commodore’s occupants.
After a short exchange while the vehicles were side by side, it drove forward a short distance, turned around and exited into Springwood suburbia with neither of them taking note of its registration number.
With the immediate demands of the busy restaurant to deal with, the manager did not appear as soon as the Murray’s would have liked and after a few minutes they decided to leave without seeing or speaking to him.
That was a Monday evening in August 2011.
Fast forward to June 2014 in Brisbane’s District Court where Neville was suing the driver of the following vehicle which at that time, remained unidentified. The solicitors he phoned the next day, made immediate contact with the restaurant to retrieve CCTV footage only to learn the camera recording system had been “not operational”.
A Report of Traffic Incident to Police was promptly provided to the Slacks Creek station and a notice published in the Courier-Mail – six months later – calling for witnesses.
It was not helpful to his cause that Murray and his wife were found to be “unimpressive witnesses… each demonstrating numerous inconsistencies that significantly impacted on their reliability and credibility”.