HAIL storms are being blamed for contributing to the cause of at least three separate motor vehicle crashes in the New England area that sent four people to hospital.
The first occurred about 1.10pm on the New England Highway near the Armidale Airport on Monday.
A camper van reportedly left the road just outside the city, coming to rest in a ditch.
An ambulance media spokesman said three people were assessed by paramedics. An 80-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man were taken to Armidale hospital in stable conditions.
Drivers travelling along the highway near Armidale faced long traffic delays following the accident.
Passersby said ice on the road from hail could have been a contributing factor of the accident.
At 2.50pm, a 54-year-old man was thrown off his motorbike along Grafton Rd near Glen Innes.
It is understood the man crashed his bike and fell down a two-metre ditch, suffering serious injuries.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter at Tamworth was called but could not attend because of the hail storm activity in the area.
Ambulance paramedics took the man to Glen Innes hospital by road about an hour after the accident occurred. He was reported to be in a stable condition.
At Armidale, about the same time, a two-car accident in Marsh St near the Caltex petrol station was also believed to have been linked to the storm.
A 61-year-old man remained trapped in his car for some time. He was freed and taken to Armidale hospital suffering a minor head injury.