Man impaled on 7m pole
THE driver of a crashed car was left screaming in agony but miraculously survived after being impaled by a length of 10cm-round railing at Bilambil Sports Club early Saturday morning.
Club caretaker Michael Banes was on the sports grounds about 2.30am when he saw a dark-coloured Audi clip a power pole before crashing through two fences into the club's car park and hitting a bus before coming to a stop, entangled in a chainwire fence.
Tweed police said the vehicle hit the power pole and collided with four other objects as the car slid about 150 metres through the sports club's car park.
Mr Banes rushed to the scene to check on the driver, but was unprepared for the scene inside the car.
The 25-year-old driver from Burleigh Heads was impaled on 7m of steel pole that was ripped from the club's boundary fence.
The railing pierced the passenger's door, passing through the man's abdomen and right thigh before exiting through the driver's door.
The impact with the first fence that dislodged the pole was so powerful that it concertinaed 80 metres of chainwire fencing.
"He was just screaming, and I knew what happened as soon as I got in the car," Mr Banes said.
"Every time I close my eyes all I can think about is that screaming.
"People in homes 500 metres way said they could hear the screams.
"When I saw what happened to him I quickly went inside and called triple-0 and grabbed a hose just in case."
Mr Banes said when he returned to the car he sat with the man, held his hand and used a rag to wipe the driver's forehead to keep blood out of his eyes.
"There was only so much I could do for him," he said. "It was automatic when you see something like that, but afterwards it does hit you."
Mr Banes said Bilambil Rural Fire Brigade was the first to arrive on the scene and it wasn't long before fire crews, paramedics, police and the rescue unit arrived.
"It felt like it took a long time for the rescue crews to arrive," he said.
Tweed District Rescue Squad spokesman Jamie Stoddart said when the crew arrived the steel pole was still protruding through the car's doors.
"It was a delicate operation where we had to stabilise both the car and the pole," Mr Stoddard said.
Rescue crews took two hours to release the man by cutting the pole on either side of his body.
He was airlifted by Westpac Lifesaver helicopter to Royal Brisbane Hospital for emergency surgery about 7am.
The man is in the intensive care unit at the hospital in a serious but stable condition.