Rugby-playing Cairns mum makes louts pay the penalty
MEET Melainna Fa'aofo office worker by day, Mooroobool crime-fighter by night.
When Ms Fa'aofo heard a loud crash outside her home on Tuesday night, then saw two men sprint past as they fled an accident scene, she sprang intoaction.
Wearing an orange party dress, with no shoes and freshly straightened hair as she prepared for a night out, she chased the men through the streets for 10 minutes before one of them ran out of breath and gave himself up.
"He was pretty fast and he'd already started running," the mother-of-two said.
"I play rugby and touch, but I haven't played in about six months.
"When he stopped, I was thinking tackling was now an option. All those years playing rugby would have helped. I was flicking my hair and I was really worried about it because it takes ages to do it."
Cairns police say a 27-year-old Edge Hill man crashed his sedan into another vehicle on McCoombe St while he was allegedly almost five times the legal blood-alcohol limit about 6.30pm on Tuesday.
Both he and his passenger bolted on foot, with Ms Fa'aofo chasing down the passenger while other residents caught up with the driver.
Her chase began at her house before the man turned right into another street, before then ending up at dead-end Capitanio Close.
"I kept yelling out, I kept asking if he was involved in the car accident," she said.
"In my head I was laughing at myself, but meanwhile my body was telling me to keep going.
"My boyfriend was like 'You're so silly', but you see so much crap on the roads so if we can get people like that off the road it's good."
Friend Kylie Dulieu had just arrived at Ms Fa'aofo's house when the drama unfolded.
"I told her brother to chase after her because I was worried she'd get hurt. Then he started walking so I ran after both of them, but by that time the police had got there," she said.
"She thought she was only chasing one of them but there were two. She's the real hero of the story."
The driver has been charged with one count of drink-driving after his alleged reading of 0.245 and will appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on January 16.
Police investigations are continuing.
Ms Fa'aofo said she was unharmed in the chase, which lasted about 10 minutes.
"My feet are killing me though. The council really need to do something about these roads," she said.
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Brave: Melainna Fa'aofo gave chase when two men fled the scene of a crash. Picture: TOM LEE