Driver was erratic before crash

Highway mayhem: The driver of this Mitsubishi Pajero careered out of control and into the path of a semi-trailer at Korora.
Highway mayhem: The driver of this Mitsubishi Pajero careered out of control and into the path of a semi-trailer at Korora. Frank Redward

THE driver of this four-wheel-drive was lucky not to have been seriously injured after he skidded out of control into the path of a semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway at Korora yesterday.

Police allege the Mitsubishi Pajero, driven by a 33-year-old man, struck the fully laded truck outside the Paradise Palms Resort, Korora, at 8.20am.

A police escort for the long-load vehicle and other motorists say the Pajero was being driven erratically moments before the crash.

The impact sent the 4WD flying into a power pole before it crashed down an embankment and came to rest on its side.

The semi-trailer ended up diagonally across both northbound lanes blocking the highway as well as the turning lane to Opal Cove.

State Emergency Service crews and ambulance paramedics cut the man out of the overturned Pajero and took him to Coffs Harbour Hospital.

It is alleged the Pajero overtook vehicles on the inside lane of the highway as it headed north past the speed camera at Korora.

As the semi-trailer and escort vehicles merged into that lane, the Pajero broke hard to avoid running into the rear of the truck.

Police say the Pajero then pulled into the right-hand lane and overtook the convoy, before veering off the roadway and mounting a nature strip.

The vehicle travelled for 50 to 70 metres off the road uprooting trees and bushes.

It then swerved back onto the highway in “an uncontrolled skid straight into the path of the truck.”

The truck, carting ice-cream from Sydney to Brisbane, applied the brakes and was thought to have been travelling at 80km/h when the accident happened.

The Pajero struck the driver's side corner of the truck, causing the front tyre of the heavy vehicle to blow out.

The driver of the semi lost steering and it jack-knifed on the highway.

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