The Mondeo is just visible in the ditch past the Prado it hit.
The Mondeo is just visible in the ditch past the Prado it hit.

Pursuit driver on 7 charges

A MAN who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase reaching speeds in excess of 215kmh between Woodburn and Harwood with three young children in the car has been refused bail.

Benjamin Croft, 21, of the Brisbane suburb of Springwood faced Lismore court yesterday on seven charges including drive in a manner dangerous, being unlicensed and not stopping during a police pursuit.

Duty solicitor Cameron Bell said his client was not applying for bail.

Acting registrar Brett Newberry refused bail and adjourned matters to Lismore Local Court on Monday.

Police facts said when the stolen Ford Mondeo was pulled over at Woodburn on Wednesday for a random breath test the driver accelerated away rapidly when approached by a police officer, narrowly missing the officer.

The pursuit began just south of Woodburn where the Mondeo exceeded 215kmh.

The pursuit was terminated for safety at New Italy when the Mondeo crossed to the wrong side at 205kmh.

Police continued to follow the speeding Mondeo and blocked the road with the assistance of a semi-trailer north of Harwood Bridge.

The Mondeo then swerved sharply into the northbound lane and collided head on with a Toyota Prado 4WD travelling at 40kmh with three young children.

Police arrested Croft when the Mondeo came to rest in a roadside drain.

The 28-year-old passenger who was not related to Croft and her three children aged one, two and three were taken by paramedics to Maclean hospital suffering minor injuries.

Police discovered arrest warrants had been issued for Croft in Queensland for breaching his parole.

Lismore duty officer Inspector Matt Kehoe said police were thankful the chase ended without "having to pick up the pieces on the Pacific Hwy".

A Department of Community Services spokesperson said DOCS was advised by NSW Health that the mother and children involved in yesterday's police pursuit were collected by the maternal grandmother who has taken them to Queensland, where she lives.

The spokesperson said DOCS has offered support to the family and will continue to do so.



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