Two police officers were seriously injured earlier this month when a car struck them during a three-day drink-driving operation.
The initiative, which took place between Friday February 16 and Sunday February 18, was designed to tackle illegal alcohol consumption and other dangerous driving habits.
According to NSW Police, the officers were injured while setting up a roadside breath-testing (RBT) site on Campbelltown Road in Leumeah. Driver Jakob Thornton allegedly veered into the officers while using his mobile phone behind the wheel.
The 22-year-old has already had his licence suspended four times and previously received a fine for sending texts while driving.
Officers sustain serious car accident injuries
Senior Constable Jonathon Wright's injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate his foot. Mr Wright's colleague, Senior Constable Matthew Foley, fractured his leg.
The two officers remain at Liverpool Hospital where they are in stable condition. Both men will likely receive workers compensation while they recover and may also be able to claim for car accident damages for their injuries.
Police Minister Troy Grant said the incident was unacceptable and emphasised the dangers that officers face every day.
"Our first responders put their own lives on the line to protect the public, and incidents like these should force all road users to take a long hard look at themselves," he stated.
"A moment of distraction behind the wheel can lead to a lifetime of consequences for someone else."
The show must go on
Despite the tragic circumstances, NSW Police performed more than 165,000 breath tests during the drink-drive operation. This was 37,580 more than last year's campaign.
The tests resulted in 210 drivers getting charged with drink-driving offences and 2,755 speeding infringements were handed down. There was a notable decline in the number of drink drivers on the roads, with 473 caught in the same operation in 2017, indicating police measures are acting as a deterrent.
However, recent Transport for NSW figures show 56 people have already died on the state's roads in 2018. Drink driving is a factor in around 20 per cent of accidents in NSW.
"Our message is simple: if you're planning to have a drink – the best option is not to drive at all. Have a Plan B, and remember if you're planning to drive the next morning you may still be over the limit from the night before," stated NSW Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon.
If you have been harmed in a car accident, please contact a personal injury specialist at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.