A 22-year-old man walked away from his wrecked car yesterday following a head-on smash with a truck on the Pacific Highway near Corindi.
A 22-year-old man walked away from his wrecked car yesterday following a head-on smash with a truck on the Pacific Highway near Corindi. FRANK REDWARD

Killer road nearly claims another

AS DEBATE rages over the funding future of the Pacific Highway and its upgrade to dual carriageway, a young driver can count himself extremely lucky to have walked away from a horrific head-on smash.

Police said the 22-year-old's hatchback drifted onto the wrong side of the highway into the path of a refrigerated pantech near Corindi, just before 6am yesterday.

It is understood the truck driver and a passer-by assisted the man from the wreckage, and miraculously the driver escaped with just minor injuries.

The man told officers he had been travelling from the Gold Coast to Macksville when the accident occurred near the intersection of Post Office Lane.

His southbound vehicle was barely recognisable after it spun into a roadside culvert.

The force of the smash was so great, it broke the truck's front and rear suspension.

“He was extremely lucky. There was a fair bit of carnage. When we arrived on scene we couldn't believe the driver wasn't more seriously injured,” said Woolgoolga NSW Fire and Rescue deputy captain Drew Armitage. NSW Ambulance paramedics were amazed to find the young driver relatively unscathed but shaken on the roadside.

A spokesperson said the man was treated for injuries to his arms and hands and was taken to the Coffs Harbour Base Hospital in a stable condition. The truck driver was also conveyed to hospital with a shoulder injury.

Police said an early crash scene investigation had indicated fatigue may have been a factor.

A traffic advisory was issued and delays were experienced on the highway north of Corindi Beach for a short time before the road was cleared.

The crash comes after Infrastructure Australia told the Federal Government this week an additional $3 billion was needed to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2016.

The budgetary black hole has given rise to the suggestion that tolls should be introduced on the Pacific Highway to help the Gillard Government finalise the project.



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