Car and truck collide; driver fights for his life
By CRAIG McTEAR
'MOVE on. Take your children home.'
Those pleas to bystanders from police officers illustrated the drama being played out on the Pacific Highway at Woolgoolga yesterday afternoon.
A large crowd of anxious mums, dads, kids and other residents held their collective breaths as emergency crews worked to free a man, believed to be a well-known Grafton identity, trapped in the wreck of his Mercedes Benz sedan.
The driver was freed about 5pm and he was rushed to Coffs Harbour Health Campus. His condition at the time of going to press was critical.
Police at the scene said the southbound sedan crossed to the wrong side of the road into the path of a northbound Scania semi-trailer, laden with timber.
The smash happened just below the Top Town shops on the southern approach to Woolgoolga at 3.15pm.
One motorist, who did not wish to be named, said yesterday: "I was heading south off the roundabout at Woolgoolga, when I saw this car about 200 metres in front of me go on the wrong side of the road in front of a semi.
"The car hit the truck, then spun across the road, and ended up against the guard rail.
"I went to see if I could help.
"The driver was still breathing, but unconscious.
"I rang the police. There was not much I could do, so even though he was unconscious, I told him to hang in there, that the ambulance would be there straight away.
"I'm a bit shaken."
One onlooker reported hearing the truck's brakes screeching, followed by a 'big bang', while another said he heard a bang, followed by brakes.