EVEN “MILD” road rage incidents are enough to give the average driver the jitters but spare a thought for motorists in Germany who have come up against a gun-toting lorry driver that fired 762 shots over five years at other road users, who he deemed to be driving badly.
Michael Harry K is facing five counts of attempted murder, which carries a potential life sentence, as well as aggravated assault, unlawful carrying of firearms, criminal damage and dangerous behaviour since 2008.
While no-one died in the attacks, with gun shots usually hitting the frame of the cars and trucks, one woman suffered a bullet wound to the neck and another smashed her car into a roadside barrier after her vehicle was hit.
As the incidents mounted up, police set up cameras on a route between Cologne, Frankfurt and Nuremburg where a high number of incidents had been reported in an effort to track down the perpetrator before someone was killed.
Officers tracked down Michael Harry K using images from the cameras, which enabled forensic experts to trace back the flight of the bullets to their likely source. He was arrested in June last year and appeared in court in Würzburg in northern Bavaria, yesterday.
Described by prosecutors as a “frustrated loner”, Michael Harry K allegedly turned vigilante after becoming angry at being shunted in an accident, hiding weapons in an empty air bag compartment of the lorry cab or in a refrigerated compartment next to the driver’s seat.
He faces a second indictment of dangerous behaviour for placing metal plates fixed with nails in the road on 182 occasions in 2001 and 2012, according toThe Times, which was allegedly triggered by an incident when someone banged nails into the tyres of his lorry.