ON THE RUN

By TOBY WALKER

A MANHUNT was under way last night to locate a man who eluded police on foot after crashing a stolen car at South Grafton following a pursuit on the Pacific Highway yesterday. The chase began around 1.30pm when the man, driving a late model Holden Commodore stolen from a Carrington address two days ago, sped away from police near Halfway Creek. The pursuit lasted only a matter of minutes as cars travelling north were driven off the road and into the south bound lane as the man overtook them to escape police. Heavy highway traffic created unsafe conditions for police to follow, causing them to call of the pursuit and radio through a request to organise road spikes to be laid across the highway at Cowper. But the spikes were not needed. Entering South Grafton, the man lost control of the vehicle, mounting the kerb and crashing into a garden bed on the corner of Heber Street outside the Caltex service station. The car was left stuck at a 30 degree angle, preventing the man driving away. Much to the surprise of diners eating at the Caltex restaurant, the man left the car and began running in the direction of the Glenwood Tourist Park at the end of Heber Street. He was described as being a strongly built 24-year-old approximately six feet tall with short, cropped dark hair and wearing a singlet and baggy cargo pants. Five police cars began searching the vicinity immediately but were unable to locate the man. They were asked to approach the man with caution and were warned that he may be carrying a firearm, although this was not confirmed. Lismore man Gary Phipps had been returning from Sydney in his car when he was run off the road onto the highway shoulder at the Wooli turn-off during the pursuit. "He was coming maybe 150km/h up the inside of us on the gravel, we saw him at the last minute and he almost lost control and hit us and then nearly hit the car in front before driving onto the wrong side of the road, and that's when we saw the police car," Mr Phipps said. "The police car was trying to do the right thing . . .but this guy was flat out, he was airborne on the gravel, he's lucky he didn't kill someone on the road. Police have warned businesses in the area to be on the lookout for the man. They were continuing an inten- sive search around South Grafton last night.



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