Five-car crash in Maclean

Date: Sep 28, 2011

A man has died after a large crash on the Pacific Highway one kilometre south of the Harwood Bridge at Maclean on September 27, which involved up to five vehicles and a trailer.

Police say that at around 09:55 a Toyota Kluger driven by an 18-year-old man was travelling in a northbound lane when it apparently crossed over the middle lines and found itself on the wrong side of the road.

At this point it is alleged to have swiped the side of a Suzuki Swift that was travelling south along the same stretch of highway, startling the 52-year-old female occupant.

Shortly afterwards the large vehicle collided with a 1928 Chevrolet hot rod travelling in the same direction and pulling a trailer.

A 37-year-old man driving a Ford Territory then crashed into the trailer before a Holden Rodeo driven by a 30-year-old-man collided with the side of the Chevy.

The large scale of the accident spread debris across the entire width of the highway, causing the Road and Traffic Authority to close the major roadway in both directions for over five hours.

According to emergency services the 48-year-old driver of the hot rod was severely injured by the collision and was evacuated to the nearby Lismore Hospital by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, but suffered a cardiac arrest and died while in the air.

The drivers of the other vehicles were reportedly unharmed by their involvement in the incident, but still attended the medical facility to take part in mandatory blood and urine tests.

As part of standard procedure the 18-year-old driver of the Kluger was escorted to the nearby Maclean Police Station where he was spoken to by officers regarding the incident.

Pending further inquiries, he was subsequently released without charge.

Speaking on the issue of road safety over the October long weekend, commander of traffic services, assistant commissioner John Hartley, said that police would be providing a visible reminder on the roads to keep motorists in check.

Hartley stated: "If you are heading away for the long weekend or for the school holidays make sure you plan your trip in advance, take regular rest breaks and drive to the conditions.

"Mindless acts of stupidity behind the wheel are not only putting your life at risk but also your passengers and other innocent road user."

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