When driving a taxi in Pt Augusta I picked up a fare to Adelaide from the train that had come from Alice Springs,he paid the full fare for the two hundred miles and told me he wanted to go to Hampstead Gardens
I stopped at my home on the way out of town to tell the wife where I was going , and when I returned to the cab the passenger was speaking into the radio microphone (which was turned off}
saying, “Alice springs Wednesday Darwin Saturday “ repeatedly, asking him if he was okay . Yes he replied I’m okay, so I continued on .
All went well for the first 40 miles , he told me his name was John and was a truck driver, just general talking and he was no worry. Approaching Pt Pirie he again started to speak into the microphone this time it was 'Darwin Saturday Alice Springs Wednesday”over and over,
I was getting concerned and asked him to put the microphone down, and for the next 20 miles all was peaceful.
Approaching Red Hill John started to strip off saying it was hot and removed his clothes until he only had his singlet and jocks on , a sign saying roadworks ahead appeared and a little further a lollipop man with a sign saying slow down , which I did, and with that John opened the door, jumped out then started running alongside of the car .
Stopping I asked a road gang member if there was a policeman in Red Hill, yes there was , so turning around I went and found him at the station, telling him what had happened we got into the cab and went looking for John . He was still jogging along the highway, moving slowly along side of him the officer asked , what are you doing doing? , he answered he was training for football, he was then told that he looked tired and asked to get in the car for a rest , which he did and we returned to the police station .
Arriving at the station he got dressed, the officer asked for his name and address, and if there were any warrants out on him. Getting out his warrant book the officer found two speeding fines that had not been paid and then asked if he could pay the $150 owing , John got his wallet out and paid them, he was then told that before leaving that he should see the local doctor and that could be arranged, while waiting he could rest in the cells which he agreed to.
Turning to me I was asked what I intended to do , I told him that if the doctor thought he would be no trouble I would continue on if he paid me $10 extra for the waiting time ,which John later agreed to. The doctor arrived shortly after and examined John, then came and told us that he had given him a sedative but he was well enough to travel on with no more trouble , his destination was the Rehabilitation Centre .
After all that John and I got into the cab and continued the journey, on the way he told me that he drove a semi trailer between Darwin and Alice Springs weekly and the taking of tablets and a few beers caused the problem, that the money he earned was too good to stop , he was going into rehabilitation for two weeks and treated it as a holiday, this was his third time and they knew he was coming.
Arriving at the centre he was treated as a long lost brother I was even thanked for bringing him and given a sandwich and a coffee , then i drove home .