A MAN has been fined for using his mobile phone while driving after he was allegedly caught by police filming emergency services while driving past the scene of a crash in NSW.
The accident happened on the Barrier highway, 41km west of Cobar, on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said a Toyota Hilux towing a caravan lost control and tipped around 3.30pm.
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The driver, a 64-year-old woman, and her 66-year-old male passenger were both trapped in the wreckage for some time before being released.
The pair was taken to Cobar Airport from where they were airlifted to hospital for treatment.
The woman was flown to Sydney’s North Shore Hospital with multiple broken bones while the man was taken to Orange Base Hospital with minor injuries.
The highway was blocked for a number of hours while emergency crews worked to clear the wreckage.
While diverting traffic around the crash, police allegedly observed a man driving past while holding his mobile phone on the steering wheel, filming the scene.
The 55-year-old man was stopped by police and issued an infringement notice for using his mobile phone while driving.
Inspector Steven Munn from Darling River said messages on the dangers of using mobile phones while driving were clearly not getting through to some people.
“Here we have a serious crash where people are trapped and injured, and then we have a person idiotically filming the incident on their mobile phone as they drive past,” Inspector Munn said.
“I’d like to say it’s unbelievable, but sadly, over 29 years in the police, I can tell you it is not uncommon to see drivers using phones, driving too fast or watching emergency services rather than paying attention to their driving at crash sites.
“Police, Ambulance and volunteers from the SES and RFS were at this scene with an important job to do – we are trying to help those in the crash, we’re trying to keep the traffic moving and we’re trying to keep everyone else safe.
“Instead we’re having to chase after someone who thinks it’s okay to break the law and put his life and the lives of others in danger by using his mobile phone while driving. This is completely unacceptable.”
Investigations into the cause of Tuesday crash are continuing.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.