Police must wait to interview injureddriver

DETECTIVES are waiting for the alleged driver of a car involved in a police pursuit and crash that injured sixpeople at Millers Forest on Monday to recover from surgery before they can formally interview him.

Newcastle City local area command and the Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit will head a critical incident investigation into the accident, which occurred at the intersection of Turners Road and Raymond Terrace Road about 12.45pm.

Detective Inspector Peter Mahon said all circumstances, including the actions of police, would be examined, but declined to comment on why the Holden, driven by a man and carrying three other passengers, initially came under the attention of police.

It’s believed police attempted to stop the vehicle before a pursuit was initiated down Turners Road.

Shortly after, police terminated the pursuit due to the dirt road and the vehicle’s ‘‘manner of driving’’. The pursuing police may not have witnessed the Holden and a silver Ford Fairmont collide and are believed to have come upon the crash site at the intersection to Raymond Terrace Road.

The impact of the crash mangled both vehicles and flipped one onto its roof, with emergency services working to free at least four trapped passengers in the cars, with one rescue lasting more than an hour.

All four occupants of the Holden – two men, aged 50 and 43, and two women, aged 41 and 46 – were taken to John Hunter Hospital on Monday afternoon.

The alleged male driver of the vehicle had surgery on Tuesday.

Detective Inspector Mahon said it was ‘‘too early to predict’’ when police would be given the green-light by hospital staff to interview him.

All patients are listed as being in a stable condition, according to a Hunter New England Health spokeswoman.

The two occupants of the Ford, a man and woman, were taken to John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.

Detective Inspector Mahon said the injured police officer, taken to Maitland Hospital for observation, had sustained a sore neck during the pursuit.

He was discharged from hospital on Monday night and immediately went back to work, he said.

The scene of a car accident on the corner of Turners Rd and Maitland Rd, Millers Forest. Picture by SIMONE DE PEAK.

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