Miracle escape for mum, baby
By LEE McDOUGALL
DAVID Hagarty's first thought yesterday morning was that someone was trying to rob the bank.
As owner of Bellissimo Cafe in Harbour Drive in the CBD, Mr Hagarty was carrying out a cup of coffee to an early morning patron at 9.20am when he witnessed a white Toyota Corolla cut across the street, narrowly miss two parked cars, flatten a tree, hit a woman and her two-year-old son in a pram before slamming into the National Australia Bank ATM.
"I literally dropped the coffee I was carrying and ran to the car," Mr Hagarty said.
"The mother was screaming 'my baby, my baby' and the baby was screaming. I pulled him out of the pram, which was completely flattened. It just went flying when the car hit it."
In perhaps the greatest miracle of the whole event, both the two-year-old toddler and his 38-year-old mother escaped serious injury.
"The mother had a few lacerations to her leg and the baby had a bit of bruising and was bleeding at the mouth, but both were otherwise okay," Mr Hagarty said.
"It was amazing. The pram was mangled and the mother looked like she was hit by the car. It could have been so much worse."
Another witness, Kevin Tickle, said the 80-year-old female driver of the Toyota appeared to be parking her car on the opposite side of the road.
"She had her steering wheel on full lock and then she seems to have hit the accelerator," Mr Tickle said.
"I don't know how, but the car missed the two parked cars, and kept going into the ATM. I ran over to the car and turned off the ignition. She was pretty shaken and was bleeding from her nose."
Senior Constable Greg Neville of Coffs Harbour Police said it was unclear whether the driver had experienced a 'turn'.
"Surprisingly, everyone is in fairly good condition, given the scope of the accident," Senior Constable Neville said.
"Luckily, or rather unluckily, she (the driver) found the three-metre gap between the two parked cars and went straight through, over the tree and into the ATM."
The driver, mother and her two-year-old were taken by ambulance to Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Police have not yet released the names of those involved.
The NAB remained closed all day yesterday.