Prisoner Escapes From Police Van As Stunned Motorists Look On

A motorist has videoed the moment a prisoner escaped from a police van as it drove along the road in heavy traffic.

A 29-year-old man from Toowoomba, in custody on property-related offences, was one of six prisoners being escorted to several jails in Brisbane on Wednesday morning.

Acting Inspector Jason Hopgood said he began violently kicking the back door of the van as it drove along the Toowoomba Range just before 8:30am.

"It was that extreme that officers decided to stop the vehicle to see what was happening, as it looked like he was attempting to escape," Hopgood told reporters.

As officers stopped the van, the man was able to get out and escape police.

The escape was caught on camera. Image: Stuart McGavin

Video of the incident, filmed by motorist Stuart McGavin and obtained by 10 daily, shows the man jumping from the van as he is chased by two officers across several lanes of traffic.

Hopgood explained the prisoner managed to break out of a pod inside the van before the doors unlocked as the vehicle stopped.

"We're still trying to determine how that took place," he said.

The 29-year-old man then escaped into bushland on the escarpment of the Toowoomba Range, as police set up a search area in East Toowoomba and along the range.

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Hopgood said the man approached members of the public who then called police, directing officers to East Street in East Toowoomba where they apprehended the man in the backyard of a home.

He was taken into police custody and will face further charges.

An investigation into the escape is underway and will look into the security of the van and police procedures, Hopgood said.

"This isn't something that happens very often at all, so we will be looking at what took place to ensure it doesn't happen again."

Featured image: Stuart McGavin