The Coffs Coast Advocate

14 hours on side of road

AN 83-year-old Casino man spent 14 hours inside his car waiting to be rescued after an accident on Afterlee Road, near Kyogle, on Sunday night.

The man drove his vehicle into a ditch located on a particularly treacherous section of road about 6pm on Sunday.

However, it was not until 8am the next morning that a passing motorist noticed his car and stopped.

The man was found curled in the passenger side foot well of the silver Subaru station wagon.

“He's gone off the side of the road into a ditch,” Inspector Greg Moore said.

The man told police he had been in the car for 14 hours waiting to be rescued and that several cars had passed without stopping.

“It doesn't have a lot of traffic that road,” Insp Moore said.

The elderly driver was taken by ambulance to Kyogle Hospital in a stable condition and suffering minor injuries.

Downpours and wet roads put a dampener on the final day of the Easter break with a slew of accidents across the region.

Police, ambulance officers and fire services were run off their feet yesterday - and even succumbed to the bad weather themselves.

An ambulance carrying a patient near Coraki ran off the road while taking a sharp bend at low speed just after 11am, police said.

The 2006 Mercedes ambulance van slipped down an embankment and, although no one was injured and the vehicle was not damaged, a tow truck was needed to pull it out of the ditch, Insp Moore said.

The patient was taken to hospital by another ambulance.

Later in the day, a woman was in shock after running off Bangalow Road, west of Clunes, and up an embankment.

The white Holden Commodore she was driving came to rest almost on its side to the left of the east-bound lane.

Clunes Rural Fire Service officers directed holiday traffic banked up in both directions while the car was retrieved by a tow truck.

There was another accident on the coastal road between Byron Bay and Lennox Head at Broken Head just before 9am.

A 31-year-old woman was trapped for about 20 minutes after the car she was driving hit a large pothole and slammed into a tree.

An ambulance spokesman said she was transported to Ballina Hospital in a stable condition with chest injuries.

A table-top truck also overturned north of Bangalow yesterday afternoon.

Police Operation Tortoise concluded last night at 11.59pm.

On Sunday, the fourth day of the five-day operation, NSW police conducted 45,760 breath tests across the State and 97 people were charged with drink-driving offences.

They issued 1711 traffic infringement notices and 1007 speed infringement notices statewide.

There were 90 reported crashes in NSW on Sunday and 19 people were injured.

The Easter road toll last night stood a 14 with only the Northern Territory and South Australia free of fatalities.

Stay safe

How to drive safely in the wet:

  • Slow down.
  • Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Drive to conditions.

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