“Lucky” London taxi driver survives bottle attack smashing through windscreen and partition

21 Sep 2019

A stunned taxi driver narrowly avoided serious injury after a liquid canister smashed the windscreen of his cab while he was at the wheel, writes Marc Turner.

Leon Ziekenoppasser feared he could have been killed when the full five litre bottle of AdBlue shattered the glass before lodging in the partition window.

The 73-year-old was returning home from work on Sunday 8 September, along Hendon Wood Lane, NW7, when the terrifying incident took place.

The LTDA member of 40 years, said: “I noticed a grey saloon car approaching on the other side of the road at around 30mph. I too was doing about 30. In an instant, a full five litre canister of AdBlue. It was hurled through my windscreen then becoming lodged in the partition window. I felt it whizz by my ear – I’m lucky to be alive!”

Leon managed make it home despite being in a state of shock and having limited vision due to windscreen damage.

He called the police and was given a crime reference number, but, as
so often is the case, he has not been contacted by anybody from the Met.

Adblue is a diesel engine additive, which is fed into part of a vehicle’s exhaust. A chemical reaction converts the harmful NOx exhaust gases into harmless nitrogen and water. The liquid normally costs about £10.

Leon, who has been described as “old school,” shrugged off the incident and got back behind the wheel a day later, after the garage had repaired the damage.
Leon returned to work as if nothing had happened.

He said: “What happened to me could happen to any cab driver at any time. Be vigilant and try to stay safe.” 

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