MORE MAYHEM

By CRAIG McTEAR

YOU'RE left badly hurt on the side of the Pacific Highway at Pine Creek after a massive jolt hurls you through the front window of your husband's truck.

It's a shocking scenario which became all too real at 4.40am yesterday for a woman, 40.

She had been asleep in the back of the cab while her husband, 39, was negotiating this fatal stretch of road south of Coffs Harbour.

Miraculously, the woman was late yesterday in a stable condition in hospital after suffering facial injuries and a fractured sternum. Her husband was treated at hospital for lacerations.

The Victorian couple were heading north in their B-double ? laden with stock feed ? and were taking a sweeping right-hand bend only metres from where many motorists have lost their lives.

Police said the driver lost control of his vehicle, which rolled on its side and skidded for 70 metres before hurtling down an embankment on the other side of the road.

The truck then became upright just before slamming into a tree.

The woman passenger was thrown five metres clear of the wreck into scrub.

Stock feed spewed onto the highway and the prime-mover and its two trailers stretched across the road, leaving other motorists with nowhere to go.

Another B-double driver travelling not far behind narrowly avoided a collision and pulled up only metres short.

But it gets worse.

The 62-year-old Queensland driver of a southbound removalist's semi-trailer saw the tangled bulk ahead of him and hit the brakes, but was unable to avoid slamming into the rear trailer of the first heavy vehicle.

He escaped un-harmed.

Traffic was banked up for several kilometres either side of the accident.

The Roads and Traffic Authority diverted light vehicles around the accident scene throughout the day and used north-bound and south-bound lanes alternately.

The highway did not return to normal until late yesterday after emergency services personnel and salvage crews had completed their all-too-familiar tasks.

How and why the first truckie lost control of his vehicle is being investigated.



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