In harm's way
A MAN led police on a high-speed car chase while he had three young children in the back seat before crashing into a vehicle containing another three children.
The man topped speeds of 180kmh as he raced south from Woodburn from about 1.20pm yesterday in an allegedly stolen Ford Mondeo before crashing into a Toyota Landcruiser Prado just north of the Harwood Bridge.
The three children, aged one, two and three, and a 28-year-old woman who were in the Mondeo were taken to Maclean Hospital with minor injuries. A Northern NSW Local Health District spokesperson last night said the woman and children remained in a stable condition at the hospital.
A woman and the three children from the Landcruiser were uninjured, although witness Matt Muir said they were crying, clearly traumatised by the crash.
Police said the driver of the Mondeo, which was allegedly stolen on Monday from Logan, south of Brisbane, was taken to Lismore Police Station to be questioned by detectives.
He remained in custody last night and was expected to appear at Lismore Local Court today.
Mr Muir, the owner of Yamba Shores Tavern, said he was travelling back from the Gold Coast yesterday when he witnessed some of the pursuit.
Mr Muir said he encountered the Mondeo about half way between Woodburn and the Harwood Bridge.
"This bloke was right up my rear end in a black Ford Mondeo," he said.
"Then before I know it he has gone around me over the double white lines."
Mr Muir said they watched the driver's behaviour as the car accelerated away.
"He was going around trucks across double white lines, he was all over the road," he said.
"About 10 minutes later suddenly I heard this woosh in my right ear and a Highway Patrol car has gone flying past us then the Woodburn paddy wagon went past."
The next time Mr Muir encountered the Mondeo was near where it crashed on the Pacific Highway just north of the Harwood bridge.
"Suddenly in front of us he swerved across onto the wrong side of the road to overtake another car and a lady coming the other way in a silver Toyota Prado clipped him and shot him into the ditch," he said.