A WOMAN fled in fear of her life after a bat-wielding man smashed up her car in a shocking display of road rage.

While driving along the foggy A171 moors road close to Scaling Dam, the woman, who is in her 50s stopped at temporary traffic lights that were on red at around 7.10am on Thursday morning.

The motorist behind her – believed to have been driving a 4x4 - then crashed into the back of her car, pulled up alongside her and launched a terrifying attack.

Wielding a “thin rubber bat with a distinctive white tip”, he climbed out of his car and approached her window.

Instead of exchanging details, as the woman had expected, he launched a sudden and terrifying assault, screaming and swearing as he used his weapon to smash her windscreen and to damage other parts of the car.

The woman, who did not want to be named, had to speed through a red light to escape her attacker, fleeing in fear of her life.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, she said: “I am still picking glass out of my skin.

“It was absolutely terrifying – I thought he had just not seen the lights and was stopping to exchange details at first.

“He was screaming and shouting abuse at me, saying I had cut him up but I hadn’t.

“My thoughts were that I had to get hold of that bat so I grabbed it and pulled him in towards the window then pushed him out again before fleeing.

“I thought I was going to get seriously hurt, that he was going to go for my face and I knew I had to get away.

“I am left thinking that I was lucky to have managed to escape and I’m worried now that he is still out there and could do this to someone else.

“It seemed pre-meditated – when I saw him in my mirror after he hit the car, he looked calm and peaceful and was wearing his glasses, but he took them off before coming to my car.

“I think he saw that I was a woman and he came out of the car to intimidate and hurt me.

“Now, I am going to ask God to help me to forgive this man and I hope that he never does this to anybody else.”

Although it was dark at the time the attack happened, the victim is convinced other motorists saw the man target her.

She expressed disappointment in those who failed to stop and said nobody had notified police, despite the shocking nature of the attack.

The woman said: “Nobody stopped to help and it is impossible that nobody saw this happen.

“I think we are living in a world where people are angry and terrified and fear for themselves but I cannot understand why afterwards, nobody called the police.”

Left shaken and frightened but uninjured, the woman is now recovering from her ordeal and is appealing for anyone with information to come forward and speak to the police.

The attacker is described as white, slim and tall and is believed to be in his late forties. He was clean shaven and wearing rectangular glasses and an orange jacket at the time of the crash.

The incident happened on the A171 westbound, just past the Scaling Dam reservoir at around 7.10am on Thursday, January 11.

  • Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Wendy Rowe from Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.