Highway guard rail skewers car
By LEIGH PRITCHARD
A TEENAGE driver escaped death or serious injury by five centimetres yesterday when his car left the Pacific Highway and speared into a guard rail.
The Queensland man, 19, was travelling north past Centenary Drive at Clarenza near Grafton in a 1982 white Ford XD Falcon sedan when the vehicle left the road at 12.40am.
"The guard rail went right through the engine bay, up through the dash and windscreen, into the cabin and out the back window," Grafton police said.
The driver escaped with a scratched knee.
Police said the car was a 'write-off' and had to be towed away.
Raven Smash Repairs owner Michael Howell, of South Grafton, towed the vehicle at 2am.
Mr Howell said he had grown up in the towing business, had seen accidents just as bad, but had 'never seen anybody walk away' unhurt like this.
"I have seen some pretty horrific crashes, but not with anybody walking away with just a scratch on his knee," Mr Howell said.
He said the rail missed the teenager's head by five centimetres. The rail had passed over his left shoulder.
"His head was thrown to the right ? if it had been thrown to the left ? (the guard rail) would have killed him," Mr Howell said.
Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
"It is a good warning for people driving at Christmas," Mr Howell said.
Mr Howell said the teenager caught a train home to Queensland yesterday.
Two vehicles were also towed, after a collision at an intersection at Iluka on Friday at 4pm.
Maclean police said it was pouring rain when the collision happened at the intersection of Owen and Spencer Streets.
Police said a blue Volkswagen Kombi van travelling in Owen Street came into collision with the side of a four-wheel drive which had been travelling in Spencer Street.
The driver and two passengers of the Kombi, believed to be in their early 20s, were taken to Maclean District Hospital treatment.