WOOLGOOLGA’S Hutchinson clan feared the worst when their pregnant matriarch, Susan, was involved in a nasty highway smash yesterday.
Susan – who is due in August – had to be freed from the wreck of her Honda CRV after a truck slammed into the back of her vehicle at Emerald Beach.
She and her teenage daughter, Tori, were on their way to Coffs Harbour Education Campus where Susan is doing TAFE childcare studies and Tori attends the senior college.
The smash happened in slippery conditions 400 metres north of Smiths Road at 8.40am in a traffic bank-up caused by a six-car pile-up minutes earlier at Moonee Beach.
Susan complained of chest pain and as paramedics worked to stabilised her in the wreck, firefighters had to cut the pillars between the front and back doors and one of the doors to get better access to her.
Once the all-clear came she was removed from the wreck and placed on a spinal board for the trip to Coffs Harbour Health Campus, where Tori was also taken.
Susan is being treated for a possible broken sternum and will have scans today to check she has no spinal injuries.
Her relieved husband, Marc, said their unborn child had not been harmed, and Tori had sustained minor bruising.
Marc, a house painter, made the mad dash up the highway from Sawtell when he was told about the accident.
He negotiated the slow-moving traffic and made it as far as Smiths Road where he parked his car and ran the remaining 400 metres to reach his wife and daughter.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Marc said.
“When I got there I saw my wife sitting in the car and she had an oxygen mask on.
“One of the emergency services guys who I knew intercepted me and told me she was fine, she was okay.
“That straight away put me at ease but I was worried when they got her out because she was in a lot of pain from moving.”
Marc said he was grateful to the professionalism of all involved in the care of Susan and Tori yesterday.
“Sue has talked about the accident. She said the cars in front were slowing and she slowed and then she looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a truck behind her which wasn’t stopping.
“She had nowhere to go.”
The smash caused major traffic snarls.