Father chokes bus driver in road rage outburst
A FATHER became enraged and attacked a Greyhound bus driver who forced the vehicle his wife was driving off the road during a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.
Scott Edward Blackwood came across the bus driver not long after the terrifying highway incident and placed him in a chokehold.
"They fell to the ground in a wrestle, the (victim) was choked for less than 30 seconds," Tegan Grasso, for Crown Prosecutions, said.
Mackay District Court heard Blackwood's children had been in the back of the SUV at the time, when the bus attempted to overtake the vehicle six times on the Peak Downs Hwy on June 16, 2018.
Ms Grasso said on the sixth attempt there was an oncoming car, which forced Blackwood's wife to pull onto the side of the road to avoid a collision.
When the bus stopped a short time later at Eton, Blackwood's wife pulled up behind and he got out of the SUV, walked over to the driver and "wrapped his arm around his neck".
Blackwood pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm.
Peter O'Brien, the bus driver, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention over the incident and was convicted, disqualified from driving for three months and fined $1200.
During his case the court heard dashcam footage captured O'Brien's highway outburst as he attempted to overtake the SUV multiple times over about 30 kilometres before partially forcing it off the road.
He also lost his job for what was labelled "dangerous" and "clearly intimidatory" behaviour.
"This was what many people described as a terrifying background where you've got a Greyhound bus up the back of your car for a period of 19 minutes," barrister Paul Rutledge said.
"And they're forced off the road."
Mr Rutledge said the assault and lead-up only lasted about a minute.
The court heard Blackwood had fragile mental health at the time and as a result acted out in a way "outside appropriate behaviour".
Judge Julie Dick accepted the bus driver's behaviour was labelled "dangerous and clearly intimidating".
"I'm not agreeing with your behaviour," she said to Blackwood, but conceded she could understand his reaction under the circumstances.
As a result, Blackwood was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond and a conviction was not recorded.