Disqualified driver known to police
POLICE suspect a man who led officers on a chase through Coffs Harbour before ploughing into a resident's backyard was under the influence of an illicit substance.
Speaking to the media outside of Coffs Harbour Police station today, Northern Region Traffic Acting Inspector Jarrod Langan revealed further details on the incident which occurred soon after midnight.
A/Insp Langan said police detected a vehicle exceeding the speed limit on Hogbin Dr and as the officers attempted to stop the vehicle it continued at high speed.
A short pursuit involving three police cars was initiated and road spikes were deployed in just 60 seconds.
"The successful deployment meant the vehicle had two punctured tyres," A/Insp Langan said.
The vehicle then continued onto the Pacific Hwy and a number of residential streets before it crashed into a yard on Long St, a dramatic scene which was captured by a neighbour's CCTV camera.
The driver, a 30-year-old Coffs Harbour man, attempted to flee from the vehicle however he was soon arrested by police.
He was subjected to a breath test which returned a negative result.
Police then placed him under arrest and he was taken to Coffs Harbour Hospital where a blood and urine sample was taken.
Police are awaiting results, however the man has been issued a court attendance notice for a number of serious driving offences including police pursuit, and drive while disqualified.
Further charges may be laid depending on the results of the urine sample.
"It appears - with the fact that he returned a negative breath test - that he was affected by a substance other than alcohol," A/Insp Langan said.
"It was very lucky it was that time of night and there was no other traffic around, but obviously anyone driving while under the influence of a substance is a great risk to the community."
The man, who was known to police prior to the incident, had been disqualified from driving for six months at the time of his arrest.
He will face Coffs Harbour Local Court in October.