Police are investigating whether a man who rolled his utility at Palm Beach yesterday was intoxicated.
Just after 4.00pm yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 08 February), emergency services were called to a report of a Mitsubishi Triton utility rolled over at Palm Beach Road, Palm Beach.
Fire and Rescue NSW Avalon Station was first to arrive at the incident scene, which had occurred at the intersection with Barrenjoey Road, close to Palm Beach Wharf. They found the white 2013 Triton rolled onto its side, with the 37-year-old male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle unable to exit the upturned vehicle.
Although the man did not appear to be injured, he was allegedly behaving erratically and aggressively, leading to speculation he may be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Firefighters tried to calm the trapped man and called for specialist rescue firefighters from Narrabeen Station.
Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command arrived and established a contra flow of traffic on Barrenjoey Road, while three NSW Ambulance crews, including NSW Ambulance Inspector Alex Lim, arrived and waited for the man to be released by firefighters.
The vehicle was stabilised with ropes tied to a nearby power pole to prevent it overturning and causing injury to the man trapped inside. The man was then able to climb free from the vehicle with assistance.
The driver initially refused to be assessed by paramedics, but after concerns about his behaviour and potential intoxication, he was restrained and sedated in the ambulance. He was assessed for any injuries but did not appear to have been harmed in the incident. He was then taken to Northern Beaches Hospital where he underwent mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
Firefighters remained on scene to right the vehicle and remove it from the intersection just before 5.30pm. It is understood the vehicle was then towed, and may have been impounded pending further investigation.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed the matter was under investigation, and the man had undergone mandatory testing in hospital.
“About 4.10pm today (Thursday 8 February 2024), emergency services were called to Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach, following reports of a single-vehicle crash.
“On arrival, Fire and Rescue NSW extracted the driver from a car which had rolled onto its side. The driver — a 37-year-old man — was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to hospital where he underwent mandatory testing.
“Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command have commenced an investigation into the incident. Inquiries are ongoing,” said the NSW Police spokesperson.
It is believed that the incident occurred when the man turned into the embankment at relatively low speed while attempting to turn out of Palm Beach Road. The results of mandatory testing can take several days to become available.
First offence penalties for drink and drug driving carry automatic licence disqualification of six months, and court-imposed fines ranging up to $3,300. Additionally, most insurers will void car insurance policies if the driver is found to have been intoxicated, leaving drivers exposed to significant financial losses.
Images: Northern Beaches Advocate
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