Coffs coast joyriders in custody
IT had all the ingredients of a wild night on the town – a drink-driver behind the wheel of a stolen car fleeing from police on the Pacific Highway.
Five young joyriders are now in custody after their four-wheel-drive ran over road spikes and brought them to a dramatic halt north of Corindi early yesterday. The dramatic events unfolded on Monday night when a white Toyota Landcruiser was stolen from Grafton.
About 1.15am yesterday, highway patrol police were driving south near Emerald Beach when they saw the vehicle overtaking northbound traffic.
Police allege the Landcruiser was reaching speeds of 123km/h in a 100km/h zone and they did a u-turn to give chase.
The officers were in hot pursuit to Woolgoolga where the vehicle crossed to the wrong side of the highway near Bosworth Road.
This forced police to terminate the pursuit due to safety reasons but it was reactivated a short time later just north of the town.
Police continued to follow the vehicle north where it continued overtaking.
Officers deployed road spikes at Post Office Lane north of Corindi to stop the runaway vehicle at 1.30am and their strategy succeeded. A front tyre deflated but it took another 4km before the car stopped on the side of the road.
Police arrested the driver, a man, 19, in the vehicle and apprehended the four other occupants who had fled into nearby scrub.
The driver was breath-tested at the scene and was later charged with mid-range drink-driving after he returned a reading of .090.
He was further charged with police pursuit, dangerous driving, speeding, driving while unlicensed and taking and using a conveyance.
His four accomplices were still being interviewed late yesterday at Coffs Harbour Police Station.