Highway hell - two crashes in 12 hours
WOOLGOOLGA taxi driver John Maguire and two passengers are in hospital with serious injuries following a head-on collision on the Pacific Highway on Saturday night.
And within 12 hours another scene of carnage unfolded a little further north at Halfway Creek where three more people were rushed to hospital.
The two women from the Woolgoolga accident were taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital and Mr McGuire was flown to Lismore.
Police said shortly before midnight a Toyota utility was driving south along the Pacific Highway, Woolgoolga, when it allegedly moved to the incorrect side of the roadway and collided with a maxi taxi travelling in the opposite direction.
As a result the ute mounted a concrete median strip in the middle of the roadway, flipped and came to rest on its roof.
The driver of the ute, a 47-year-old man, freed himself from the vehicle and was taken by ambulance to Coffs Harbour Hospital with a dislocated hip where he remains in a stable condition.
Mr Maguire, 51, was trapped until freed by emergency services personnel. Bystanders said it took rescue crews more than an hour to free the man.
He sustained serious lower leg injuries and was airlifted to Lismore Hospital in a serious condition by a rescue helicopter.
Two female passengers in the taxi, aged 58 and 49, were both taken to Coffs Harbour Hospital in a stable condition. The 58-year-old woman sustained a spinal fracture and the 49-year-old woman sustained abrasions.
Officers from the Ballina Crash Investigation Unit attended the scene.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Ballina Crash Investigation Unit on 6681 8618.
The high-speed crash on the Highway at Halfway Creek at about 12.30pm yesterday saw three people hospitalised and a man airlifted with serious injuries after he was trapped in his car for about 40 minutes.
A Ford Fairlane car was allegedly turning on to the highway at the United Service Station at Halfway Creek when it was hit at high speed by a Honda SUV travelling north.
The 't-bone' impact pushed the sedan off the road and trapped the driver in his car for about 40 minutes.
A Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew the driver of the Fairlane to Coffs Harbour Health Campus where he was described as in a serious but stable condition.