Man lucky to live as truck, utility colllide

By NEELIMA CHOAHAN

A 77-year-old is lucky to be alive, after his ute was almost crushed by a concrete truck in Casuarina yesterday afternoon at 1pm.

Eye witness Gary Colby-Jones, who was driving behind the two said, the accident happened when the driver of the white Nissan utility tried to suddenly do a u-turn in front of the truck.

"They were both going south (down the coast road) when the driver of the ute just turned," Mr Colby-Jones said.

The Pottsville local said the truck collided with the front of the turning ute on the driver's side.

"The truck driver tried to swerve but he lost control," he said.

The truck landed on its side, narrowly missing the ute by a few inches. "I don't know why he (the driver of the ute) decided to do a u-turn," Mr Colby-Jones said.

"God knows. He was dreaming."

One of the first people to arrive at the scene, Debbie Carter, was working across the road at Sandbar Grill when she heard the accident.

"I was sitting in my office when I heard the breaks screech and this massive smash," Ms Carter said.

"It was horrible."

Minutes later chaos surrounded the accident site, even as Ms Carter rushed to the scene and started controlling the traffic which had already started building up. A few good Samaritans helped the victim as he lay in the badly damaged car, his face covered in blood.

"He was breathing but his pulse was weakening," she said.

Across the road, a woman and a man consoled the truck driver, a 44-year-old male, who was lying on the grassy path beside the road. Using a real estate placard, plucked from the side of the road, they shielded him from the glare of the hot afternoon sun. Soon the siren of the emergency vehicles could be heard with two ambulances, fire engines, Volunteer Rescue Association and several police vehicles converging on the area, taking over from Ms Carter and others on the scene.

A Volunteer Rescue Association spokesman said the 77-year-old man was not trapped in the car when emergency services arrived on the scene.

"We only helped to load him in the ambulance," he said. The ute's driver was taken to The Tweed Hospital in a serious but stable condition but was later transferred to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane for further management.

A North Coast Area Health Service spokeswoman said the truck driver remained in The Tweed Hospital in a stable condition.



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