Driver in wrong lane before fatal Harbour Bridge crash: Police

 

Police say a fatal head on crash on the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the result of the now deceased female driver travelling in the wrong lane.

Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan said initial investigations reveal the woman, believed to be in her mid 30s, was travelling northbound when she swerved into the southbound lane.

He said she was travelling in the lane for a "very short time" before slamming into the oncoming BMW as it headed southbound.

"[The Mitsubishi] crossed two lanes of traffic and collided with a vehicle travelling on the correct side of the road."

Emergency service crews at the scene after a mutli-car crash which has resulted in a woman’s death. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Emergency service crews at the scene after a mutli-car crash which has resulted in a woman’s death. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

He said it was "too early" to speculate on whether the driver may have merged into the lane thinking it was in fact the correct one.

"It does appear that one lane had lighter traffic in it and crossed perhaps thinking it was a clear line of traffic heading in the right direction but I must admit it's way too early to say."

"Traffic conditions were marked out quite clearly… but the investigation is continuing.

During the AM peak, one northbound lane of traffic converted into a southbound lane to help manage traffic. At most other times, there are equal northbound and southbound lanes.

According to the Transport Management Centre, there were three lanes of northbound traffic and four southbound when the incident occurred.

All traffic across Sydney has now returned to normal and roads approaching the Sydney Harbour Bridge are clear. Buses in the area have also returned to normal.

 

Crews work at the scene to free a trapped motorist. Picture: Seven News
Crews work at the scene to free a trapped motorist. Picture: Seven News

Two passengers travelling in the Mitsubishi, both men believed to be aged in their 30s, were treated for head injuries. They were taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a serious condition.

The driver of the BMW - a woman believed to be aged in her 40s - was trapped for more than two hours before rescue teams could release her.

"The lady who was trapped in the vehicle for a significant period of time was conscious throughout to she was obviously concerned and in pain, but she was - all things given - in reasonable good spirits," Cameron Edgar, Chief Superintendant at NSW Ambulance told the ABC this morning.

"No one wants to attend a scene like this. It's a horrific scene that affects all people involved."

The BMW driver's passenger also suffered minor injuries and is in a stable condition.

Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command attended, while the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit will commence an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman at the scene said the crash was so horrific emergency services split into separate rescue teams with individual commanders to work on each vehicle.

The crash closed the bridge in both directions. Picture: Dave Millar
The crash closed the bridge in both directions. Picture: Dave Millar

Cameron Edgar, Chief Superintendant at NSW Ambulance was in his car when the crash occurred just 100 metres away from him.

He sprung into action, grabbing lifesaving equipment from his car before rushing to the accident.

"It was a horrible scene," he told 2GB.

"We were very lucky to have chaplains from emergency services there."

Due to the gridlocked traffic, firefighters had to make their way on foot from The Rocks Fire Station to transport life saving equipment.

Buses travelling towards the city and north shore have now resumed travelling across the bridge but commuters are being told to expect delays.

 

 

Motorists were earlier encouraged to consider working from home and to avoid non-essential travel as emergency services worked on scene.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliot said the incident was a "tragic" reminder of the danger of our roads and the need to take care.

The rescue chopper had difficulty landing on the bridge. Picture: Dave Millar
The rescue chopper had difficulty landing on the bridge. Picture: Dave Millar

 

 

Originally published as Driver in wrong lane before fatal Harbour Bridge crash: Police

A rescue helicopter approaches the harbour bridge after the crash. Picture: Supplied
A rescue helicopter approaches the harbour bridge after the crash. Picture: Supplied

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