10 seconds between life and death

IMAGINE a car speeding recklessly towards you on the wrong side of the highway.

This was the position Ulmarra courier Brenton Smith found himself in on his way to Grafton yesterday morning.

"I have a CB radio in my van and heard reports of a car going really fast north of Swan Creek," Mr Smith said.

"I heard he'd just rounded two B-double trucks when he came flying around the corner on the wrong side of the road, straight at me.

"If I'd have been 10 seconds earlier, it might have ended in disaster. He would have been approaching at 140kmh."

A Ford Falcon abandoned in Townsend in the middle of a car chase (see map) from Sandy Beach to Ballina and everywhere in between. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
A Ford Falcon abandoned in Townsend in the middle of a car chase (see map) from Sandy Beach to Ballina and everywhere in between. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

 

The courier said he realised the car was stolen when he saw up to six police cars following at a distance.

The drama began at Sandy Beach on Tuesday night when a black Ford Falcon was reported stolen by its owner, who was delivering pizzas at the time.

When the driver of the stolen car ignored police signals to stop while travelling south on the Pacific Hwy about 7.50pm, police began a series of pursuits, but they had to be terminated when it became too dangerous.

It is alleged the driver was driving at speeds in excess of 200kmh, ignored two red lights, drove at a police car in a car park, and while travelling south on Toormina Rd, collided with another vehicle.

About 6am yesterday, police saw the car at Urunga and began a second series of short pursuits between Coffs Harbour and South Grafton.

Officers recovered the black Ford Falcon involved on Paperbark Dr at Townsend about 8am, where the driver allegedly stole a white Toyota LandCruiser.

About 9.40am, police from the Ballina Highway Patrol used road spikes at Pimlico, south of Ballina, to puncture the LandCruiser's tyres, eventually stopping the vehicle in a nearby property.

A 24-year-old Gold Coast man was charged with two counts of car theft, four counts of not stopping during a police pursuit, goods in custody and possessing a knife.

He was refused bail to appear Lismore Local Court on today.


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