A taxi driver cheated death after yobs launched a wooden stake off a bridge which speared through his windscreen and missed his head – by MILLIMETRES.
Mohammed Banaris was driving two passengers to a pub on Friday night (6/2) when the post smashed through his front window at around 9.45pm.
Shocking pictures show how the 37-year-old narrowly avoided death after the 5ft (60 ins) object came to rest on his shoulder.
Dad-of-three Mohammed, who had been a taxi driver for two years, somehow managed to pull his vehicle over after it was showered with shattered glass.
Police are now hunting for the reckless thugs who threw the missile from the bridge which runs above the busy A5009 in Abbey Hulton, Staffs.
Yesterday (Mon) Mohammed, who works for Ace Taxis based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., said: “The plank just missed my head, it could have killed me.
“It had nails sticking out of it too.
“As I went past the bridge, bang, the piece of wood came straight through my windscreen.
“There was a man and woman in the back of the cab and we were all covered in shattered glass.
“Luckily, I was going about 30mph and there was no other traffic around. It was dark though so I didn’t see anyone up on the bridge.
“There was a lot of shock. It’s extremely lucky no-one was seriously hurt. I’ve been told a group of youths threw the wooden post.
“My passengers lived in the area and they said they get young people chucking things down from the bridge all the time.
“The police said it’s been happening for the last couple of months.
“It could have been so much worse. I have heard of people throwing stuff off the bridge before but I’ve never actually seen anything like that.”
The incident left Mohammed, from Lightwood, Stoke-on-Trent, uninjured but with a broken rear view mirror as well as a smashed windscreen.
The cabbie has been unable to work since the incident, which has left him badly shaken.
Mohammed added: “The damage has cost a couple of hundred pounds but on top of that I missed the weekend shift which is always good for money.
“It’s really frustrating because the windscreen won’t be fixed until Wednesday (11/2) so I won’t be able to get back to work until the end of this week.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman added: “The wooden post shattered the windscreen of the taxi, which was travelling from Milton towards Northwood.
“It narrowly missed the driver and the occupants in the rear seats.
“There were no injuries but the passengers and the driver were clearly shaken.
“The local policing team are investigating and are appealing to anyone who may have information on the incident.”
Witness Graham Cayzer, who lives on Leek Road, said: “The taxi pulled up in the lay-by adjacent to my house.
“There were three people stood around the vehicle and the police came.
“It’s lucky the plank didn’t catch the driver straight in the face.”
The dangerous act came just two days after a brick was thrown from the same bridge and damaged another passing car on Wednesday (4/2) evening.
Residents living in the area are now calling for CCTV to be introduced.
Neighbour Paul Bate, 67, who also lives on Leek Road, said: “I’ve lived here since 1985 and this sort of thing goes on.
“About three months ago, I saw a group of teenage girls throwing stones off the bridge, so I shouted at them and they ran off.
“This is the most serious incident of this type in my time here.
“It’s tough to police, a lot of young people use the bridge as a shortcut from school, but CCTV cameras might help to catch the culprits.”