A 19-YEAR-OLD wheelchair-bound man was airlifted to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital yesterday with head injuries after the van he was travelling in collided with a semi-trailer on the corner of Allenby and Bathurst roads.
The man was lifted out of the Volkswagen van shortly after the accident at around 8am and treated by paramedics at the scene. He was transferred to Orange hospital for further treatment and flown to Sydney via helicopter at around lunchtime.
Late yesterday the man was in a critical condition with head injuries.
Shortly after the accident the 28-year-old driver of the vehicle had to be helped out of the cabin of his vehicle and he was treated for suspected broke ribs at Orange hospital.
He is in a stable condition.
The accident is believed to have occurred after the van, which was travelling south on Allenby Road, approached the Bathurst Road T-intersection, and collided with the semi-trailer that was travelling east on Bathurst Road.
A man who witnessed the crash told the Central Western Daily police were travelling several vehicles behind the semi -trailer and reached the van in a matter of moments.
The witness, who declined to be named, said the driver was helped out of the van through the front passenger door.
He was suffering from cuts to his head and complaining of sore ribs as he was helped to the kerb where a bystander wrapped him in a blanket.
The teenager, who was travelling in the back of the van, was found on the van’s floor and lifted onto the road after the driver asked about his companion.
When paramedics arrived the passenger was treated on the road for several minutes before being taken to Orange hospital.
The witness said the van was hit side-on as it attempted to turn right across the east-bound lane of Bathurst Road.
He said the impact “rocked the van and showered the road with glass” from the windows along the the driver’s side of the vehicle.
“The bullbar on the semi-trailer crushed the side of the van, it was a sickening impact,” he said.
Inspector Peter Atkins said a police investigation was under way and a crime scene had been established.
The 42-year-old male truck driver returned a negative breath test at the scene and was not injured during the incident.
Bathurst Road was closed to traffic for several hours.