'We're sick of hoons' putting lives at risk: resident
AN UNACCOMPANIED learner driver who flipped his HiLux ute onto its roof is typical of young drivers using city streets as drag strips, says a resident who witnessed the crash.
Police have issued a 17-year-old Grafton boy with infringement notices for being an unaccompanied learner driver and negligent driving after they were called to the scene of a car crash in Prince St, Grafton, on Friday afternoon.
Coffs Clarence Police duty officer, Acting Inspector Bob White, said there was evidence of hoon driving, including recent "doughnut" skid marks and other skid marks and burnt rubber near the overturned vehicle.
But he said police could not directly link this evidence to the fate of the flipped ute at the scene.
"Police spoke to a young man who volunteered his identity as the driver of the vehicle," Acting Insp White said. "He gave police a version of events, that the accident occurred when he selected the wrong gear, which caused the wheels to lock and the car to roll onto its roof."
Nearby residents who came to the crash site were not as circumspect as the police.
One said shortly before the crash occurred she and her partner could hear a vehicle revving its engine loudly.
"We'd just got in and were sitting down on the couch to relax when we heard this car revving its engine loudly, with its tyres screeching heading north toward Corcoran Park," said Karleen Murray, whose backyard overlooks the area.
"I commented that it seemed like the long weekend was beginning early for the hoons," Ms Murray said.
She said the car crashed barely a minute after the noise began.
"It went up to the end of the road, did a U-ie and came back down the the street.
"While you couldn't hear the crash, you could tell something had happened and I got up to have a look."
She said she saw the car flipped on its roof with four or five people climbing out of the wreck.
"I called the police straight away and they came pretty quickly," she said.
Ms Murray said the strip of dirt road where Prince St heads toward Corcoran Park was a haunt for hoons.
"I'm over it," she said. "The hoons are always coming here and driving up and down and nothing's done about it.
"I'm always onto the police about it, but no one seems to want to do anything about it.
"The council and the police should block it off and close it. No one needs that bit of road, you can get to where it's going plenty of other ways."
Ms Murray posted her thoughts on social media, including a photo of the ute on its roof.
"It was horrifying some of the responses I got particularly from young people," she said.
"They see it as a joke. I wrote 'stop speeding and stay alive so your parents can love you and hug you' and some young bloke trying to be funny wrote back 'what if you don't have any parents?'.
"They just think they're invincible and should be able to get away with anything."