Seven hurt in highway pile-up

SEVEN holiday-makers were injured and the Pacific Highway closed for almost two hours following a head-on collision at Broadwater on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Police believe fatigue may have been a factor in the crash after a south-bound Toyota sedan carrying an Armidale family, and a northbound Mazda carrying a Sydney family, collided about 1.30pm near the Rattle Creek Bridge.

Upon arrival, ambulance officers found seven injured people, including a woman trapped in the wreckage of a car for over an hour.

A 32-year-old Armidale man who was driving the Toyota received head injuries and a suspected broken leg, while his five-year-old daughter suffered suspected spinal injuries and bruising. The pair were flown to Lismore Base Hospital by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

The man's 32-year-old wife in- jured both legs and wrists and received possible spinal injuries, and was taken to Lismore Base Hospital by road.

A 58-year-old Maroubra woman, who was driving the Mazda and was trapped after the accident, suffered a broken right ankle, chest injuries and whiplash.

A 60-year-old Maroubra man suffered chest and hand injuries and the pair were flown to the Gold Coast Hospital by CareFlight Helicopter.

A 29-year-old man and woman who were backseat passengers in the Mazda were taken to Ballina hospital with minor injuries.

Four ambulances, two fire trucks and numerous police attended the scene, and both lanes of the Pacific Highway were closed for an hour and 45 minutes while investigation and salvage operations took place.

Traffic was diverted around the crash site.

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