ONE man has been taken to hospital and another has been charged with drink-driving after two accidents at the same spot.
The chain of events was sparked on the New England Highway just a few kilometres south of the Armidale Airport about 9.40am yesterday.
Police believe a blue hatchback was travelling north and pulled into a second lane to overtake when a Ford ute travelling south also pulled out to overtake a vehicle.
Armidale police Acting Inspector John Walkowiak said both vehicles swerved to avoid each other but collided, causing minor damage to the blue hatchback.
“The vehicle travelling south left the highway, became airborne and collided with a power pole, which snapped in half and brought down powerlines,” he said.
The driver of the ute was treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics and taken to Armidale hospital with suspected neck and internal injuries.
Yesterday afternoon he remained in a stable condition.
The accident blocked the highway for some time as emergency services worked to clear the debris before one lane was reopened.
As traffic was slowed around the crash site, police will allege an intoxicated male rear-ended another vehicle.
Police said the 42-year-old man failed to stop and hit another vehicle from behind at the site.
The man failed a roadside breath test before allegedly returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.14.
He was charged with mid-range drink-driving and has been ordered to front Tamworth Local Court at a later date.
Two other patients assessed at the scene by paramedics were cleared of any serious injuries.