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Accident could have been worse: police

Wednesday, 11th June, 2014

Multiple lives were potentially saved after a driver successfully avoided a head on collision, according to Detective Inspector Mick Stoltenberg. 

The incident occurred on Silverton Road, about 5kms north of Broken Hill about 8pm on Monday night.

A Holden Commodore being driven north by a 53-year-old man with two passengers was allegedly travelling at high speed when it collided with the driver’s side of an oncoming vehicle.

According to DI Stoltenberg, the decision to veer slightly to the right made by the 65-year-old male driver of the second vehicle, who was travelling with one passenger, prevented head on impact.

“Potentially that action has prevented us having to attend a fatal accident with up to five people deceased,” he said.

He couldn’t give an estimate on how fast the offending vehicle was travelling at the time of impact, but said police had spoken to an eyewitness who suggested it was going “well in excess of the speed limit”.

The impact of the crash caused the vehicle heading north to skid and role a number of times, trapping one of the passengers who required the assistance of emergency services to be freed. 

Both the driver and the two passengers were admitted to BH Hospital and are understood to have a suffered a range of injuries consistent with fractures and lacerations.

The driver and passenger of the second car did not suffer serious injuries. 

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor according to police, however a blood sample was taken from the offending driver with further action pending test results.

DI Stoltenberg said any appropriate charges would be laid after results were received.

The accident occurred during traffic safety campaign Operation Stay Alert, run in NSW over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend.

Local police conducted over 1000 random breath tests as part of the operation, recording a relatively small number of positive readings throughout the district.

A 31-year-old South Australian man returned a reading of 0.073 on the Silver City Highway in Dareton and it is understood a driver recorded a low range PCA in Broken Hill.

DI Stoltenberg was pleased with the low number of positive results, but said any DUI was one too many. 

A total of 17 speeding fines, 4 seat belt offenses and 36 other tickets including negligent driving and failure to give way were recorded as part of the operation.

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