Critical incident: Man seriously injured after New England Highway pursuit

LATEST UDPATE: FIVE people have been charged and refused bail over a rock throwing incident which left a man critically injured following a police pursuit in the New England area yesterday.

Four men and a woman appeared in Armidale Local Court this morning and all made bail applications which were formally refused.

The charges related to the events during and after a police pursuit on the New England Highway yesterday afternoon.

Highway Patrol Officers tried to stop an alleged stolen white Holden Commdore sedan,30km, north of Glen Innes just after 4pm.

Police pursued the car but terminated it later on for safety reasons after a rock was thrown at an unmarked police car.

The suspected stolen car continued south along the highway before turning onto the Guyra-Ebor Road.

A short time later, a passenger was allegedly spotted throwing rocks at oncoming traffic.

One of the projectiles penetrated the windscreen of a blue dual-cab four-wheel-drive – striking the driver, a 29-year-old man, in the head.

The man immediately lost consciousness at the wheel, forcing his father, who was travelling in the front passenger’s seat, to take control of the vehicle.

He managed to stop the car about 2km down the road.

The injured man was taken by NSW Ambulance Paramedics to Armidale Hospital before being airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital for emergency treatment.

He remains in a critical condition but there reports he was expected to undergo surgery this morning. 

Meanwhile, the five occupants of the stolen car were arrested by police after it crashed into a patrol car on the Wollombi-Wongwibinda Road.

Inquiries by police have revealed a truck and two other cars were allegedly hit by rocks thrown from the stolen car.

The arrests and charges are as follows:

*A 27-year-old man was subsequently charged with cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent; use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention (two counts); robbery; and police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously (Skye’s Law).

*A 22-year-old was charged with cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent (two counts) and use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention (two counts).

*A second 22-year-old man was charged with use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention; cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent; and use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention.

*A 21-year-old man was charged with use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention; cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent to resist arrest; use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention.

*And a 19-year-old woman was charged with use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention (two counts); and cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent to resist arrest.

All five were refused bail in Armidale Local Court today and will appear again in two weeks.

A Critical Incident Investigation Team made up of officers from Tamworth and the New England command has been established to examine the incident.

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