Dominic Emmenegger, from Zurich, said he found himself at the start of 3.1 km Burnely Tunnel, put his head down, put on AC/DC on his earphones and set to get through as fast as he could during the morning rush hour, Australian and Swiss reports said.
A video posted on the Internet shows him skateboarding next to cars and trucks. The act of bravado forced many drivers to swerve and stop to avoid colliding with Emmenegger, who fell once during the crazy ride, according to a report on the Herald Sun newspaper. He ended up in police custody with only minor injuries and was briefly treated at a local hospital.
Emmenegger apparently showed no remorse during questioning with police, at one point even telling officers he had to keep appointments with TV reporters who were waiting for him in the street. "I've never gone that fast on a skateboard, it was too fast, I thought I was going to die," he told the newspaper on his way out from the hospital. He added that a tattoo had come off during the fall in the tunnel.
Emmenegger pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct, but appeared unconcerned and vacant during court proceedings, the paper said. Emmenegger appears in videos recounting his act, saying his was sorry, and advising others against riding a skateboard in a tunnel.
The Herald Sun online also quotes motorist Mick Vrselja as saying he couldn't believe his eyes after seeing Emmenegger in the tunnel. "He was just looking ahead. All of the cars in the left-hand lane behind him couldn't go anywhere,” he said. Vrselja also told the paper Emmenegger steered into the middle lane before falling off at high speed, narrowly escaping a collision with a semi-trailer.
The Swiss was bailed pending a sentence expected on June 14, and has to report daily to the police, the newspaper said. Emmenegger had been backpacking in Australia since January and planned to travel back to Switzerland in two weeks.