Teen escapes with life after falling from ute

By BELINDA SCOTT

A BELLINGEN teenager underwent surgery in Coffs Harbour Health Campus yesterday after he was thrown from the back of a utility which rolled over on Northbank Road in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The 18-year-old suffered a fractured arm, a fractured ankle and serious cuts and abrasions but was reported to be in a stable condition at lunchtime yesterday.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

The trapped passenger, himself a state emergency services volunteer, was freed by members of the Urunga SES and taken to Coffs Harbour Health Campus by ambulance.

The accident occurred about 1.30am on Sunday, when a white 1994 Holden Rodeo tray back utility carrying five people left the road and rolled on its side.

The group of teenagers had reportedly been attending a 21st birthday party.

Police said two of the passengers were travelling unrestrained in the back of the ute and were thrown out when the vehicle tipped over.

One of them, an 18-year-old Bellingen man, was trapped under the roof of the upturned bonnet.

The other, a 17-year-old Bellingen boy, was thrown clear and suffered only minor injuries.

A 17-year-old Urunga girl, one of two passengers inside the cab, suffered cuts and abrasions to her face.

The other cab passenger, an 18-year-old man, was uninjured.

The driver of the utility, an 18-year-old red P-plate driver from Valery, suffered minor cuts and abrasions.

The driver subsequently recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.110 and has been charged with mid-range PCA.

He has had his driver's licence confiscated and will appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court on October 24.

The Port Macquarie Crash Investigation Unit is making further inquiries into the accident.



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