Kingscliff man dies in car crash

A KINGSCLIFF man was among three people who died in separate crashes during a horrific day on Far North Coast roads on Friday.

Edward Paterson, 84, died after the Holden Commodore sedan he was travelling in crashed into a guard rail on the Pacific Highway at Ewingsdale, west of Byron Bay about 2.30pm. Two Queenslanders also died in crashes at Ballina and Bangalow on the same day.

Mr Paterson was the front-seat passenger in the Commodore, which was towing a box trailer and being driven by a 62-year-old Kingscliff man.

Police said that about 600 metres south of Woodfords Lane the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guard%rail, causing the trailer to separate from the vehicle and travel 10 metres into%the roadside scrub. Mr Paterson suffered extensive head and internal injuries and was airlifted by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Lismore Base Hospital where he later died.

The driver was transported by ambulance to Lismore Base Hospital suffering abdominal injuries where he remained in a serious condition yesterday.

The crash caused traffic chaos for hours on the Pacific Highway near the Byron%interchange, with traffic backed up for five kilometres at one stage.

About 10.20pm on Friday, police attended the scene of another fatal accident on the Pacific Highway near Bangalow, where a 37-year-old Queensland man died at the scene.

The Holden Barina the man was driving northbound crashed head-on into a Mitsubishi Lancer, causing the Barina to land on its roof.

The driver of the Lancer, a 25-year-old woman from Queensland, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to The Tweed Hospital. Her condition is unknown.

The highway was again closed for a number of hours while local police and officers from the Ballina Crash Investigation Unit examined the scene.

Earlier in the day a man, also from Queensland, died following a crash in Kerr Street, Ballina, about 9.50am. The 83-year-old reportedly side-swiped two cars before hitting a power pole. Police suspect the man suffered a heart attack but were waiting for the cause of death to be determined by the coroner.

To add to the road drama, a 40-year-old woman was charged with drink-driving after returning a blood-alcohol reading of 0.210 in Byron Bay on Saturday night.

Further up the coast, a 22-year-old man was arrested for dangerous driving after he allegedly travelled several kilometres on the incorrect side of the highway and sideswiped another car at Bilinga on Saturday.

Police found the extensively damaged and abandoned car, which had been travelling north in the southbound lanes of the M1, near the Tugun bypass tunnel about 5am DST.

They said it appeared to have been driven for some distance on its tyre rims.

The alleged driver was located a short time later.

No-one was injured in the incident.

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