TRAGEDY ... A rescue helicopter lands on the Pacific Highway.
TRAGEDY ... A rescue helicopter lands on the Pacific Highway.

Two die in horror morning carnage

By KUE DAVIS

TWO people are dead and more than 12 were injured after a horrific morning on the Pacific Highway at Emerald and Moonee Beaches yesterday.

In a scene of total chaos, two separate motor vehicle accidents occurred less than one hour and 10 kilometres apart before yesterday.

The devastation began at 7am when a mini-bus carrying eight males in their mid-20's confirmed to have been Melbourne-based band The Red Shore left the road just north of Cunningham's bridge at Moonee Beach, rolling a number of times before hitting a tree.

The lead singer of the band, Damien Morris, 27, died at the scene.

The merchandiser, 22, was initially trapped in the mini-bus, before being freed and taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital in a critical condition.

He later died as a result of severe head injuries.

The remaining six passengers sustained minor injuries, ranging from minor lacerations to fractures, and were taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Two, perhaps three, were expected to undergo surgery last night.

The Red Shore, a death metal band, were touring with US band All Shall Perish as a part of their Christmas Carnage tour.

The band is believed to have been on their way from playing a gig in Brisbane on Tuesday night, to their next performance in Sydney, scheduled for last night.

Police, ambulance, Coffs Harbour State Emergency Service, Woolgoolga Fire Brigade and the Westpac Surf Life Rescue Helicopter all attended the scene, which left delays of over an hour for motorists travelling south.

The chaos turned to bedlam at 7.40am, when less than 10 kilometres north, a motorist attempting to turn right into a laneway 500 metres south of Fiddamans Road at Emerald Beach resulted in a seven car pile up.

The highway was closed to allow the Westpac Surf Life Rescue Helicopter to land, where on board paramedics assisted other NSW ambulance officers with treating the 10 occupants.

Four females, one male and two children (a boy and girl) were taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, and were discharged late yesterday afternoon after treatment in the emergency department.



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