Worker accused of damaging car while mowing lawn: 'Massive dents'

A resident in South Melbourne is seeing red after returning to his car to find the bonnet extensively damaged.

In a post which has since gone viral on social media platform Reddit, two photos reveal a significant dent on the top of his vehicle, as well as five deep scratches.

“Came home to see that on my hood,” the man wrote online. “It seems that massive dents randomly appeared the day the council is tidying up that patch of grass in front of my place.”

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, the man said it happened just outside his house on Thursday, and thought a worker from the City of Port Phillip council may be to blame.

The damaged bonnet in South Melbourne.
The Reddit poster says his vehicle was left with 'massive dents'. Source: reddit

“I left my car on Park Street in South Melbourne,” he said, “got back from work and saw it was dented pretty bad as per the photos.” He added that he was planning to contact the council on Monday to inquire about the incident.

When contacted by Yahoo News on Monday, the City of Port Phillip council said no incidents had been recorded. Council also advised the Department of Transport mows the median strip in the street.

'Smashed by a weed wacker engine'

Social media blew up over the Reddit post, with many quick to ask if Wolverine, demons, drop bears or Freddie Kruger had been spotted in South Melbourne. But many agreed it looked like damage from a mower.

“Yeah the shape and outline of the dent, the appearance of the scratches, the proximity to the newly-trimmed grass, probably some kind of brush cutter blade,” one person wrote. “That looks like it was smashed by the block of a weed wacker engine for sure,” another said.

“Could it have been a whipper snipper without a motor cover on or an older one?” someone else asked. “Not totally incomprehensible that someone cooked it and hit your car while working.”

“It’s a flailing blade of an edging machine,” said another. “The operator has lifted it up and inadvertently lowered it onto your car. Poor chap would be s****ing bricks thinking it’s loss of job. Probably why you don’t have a note.”

Park Street in South Melbourne. Source: Google Maps
The man says his 4WD was damaged on Park Street in South Melbourne on Thursday. Source: Google Maps

But others weren’t so sure.

“[It] would need to be an almighty f***ing hit to do that,” one person wrote.

“I work on the lawn mowing gang at a council (not in Melbourne) and the parts of the whipper are mostly plastic,” another said. “You would have to swing the whipper like a sledgehammer holding the wrong end to do that damage. I’d be more inclined to say one of the utes backed into you.”

While the resident says he is looking for neighbours with potential home security footage of the incident, he has his own idea about what happened.

“I’m starting to think that the person clearing the patch of grass bumped into the bullbar and just slammed his machine on my hood,” he wrote on reddit.

Council says no incidents have been recorded

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, the Mayor of Port Phillip Council says "there is currently a lot of construction activity being undertaken at Park Street and surrounding areas" and that there are "many possibilities about how this damage could have been caused."

"The Department of Transport maintains (mows) the centre median strips, water and gas utility companies are working in the area and many construction companies are undertaking development work connected to private properties," Heather Cunsolo said. "If damage is accidentally caused to private property by Council workers or its contractors, we require them to notify the property owner immediately and to record incidents in our safety management system. No such incidents have been recorded."

She strongly advised the resident to contact the Council with all the details to make an assessment, including the exact time, location and any available dash cam or CCTV footage.

"Council and contractors both carry insurance for accidental damage," Mayor Cunsolo added. "If it is established Council workers or contractors are responsible for the damage, the resident’s vehicle will definitely be repaired at no cost to them.

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