| 06.02,18. 12:40 PM |
South Coogee cemetery crash: Man taken to hospital after car ploughs into tombstones
Photo: A car sits on top of tombstones at a cemetery in Coogee. (ABC News: Mark Reddie)
A man in his 40s has been taken to hospital after crashing his car into a cemetery in Sydney's east early this morning.
Police were called to the cemetery in South Coogee at about 2:30am where they found the man with injuries to his face and abdomen.
He had been travelling down Arden Street in his Mercedes before he lost control at a roundabout at Malabar Road in South Coogee.
The car then ploughed into a tree and sandstone wall before flying several metres in the air.
The vehicle landed on its roof on top of several tomb stones, causing major damage.
"The driver of that vehicle was trapped for a short time before he was assisted from the vehicle by residents who responded to the collision," Inspector Michael Merrett said.
"The scene behind me speaks for itself.
"The fact that he was able to be conveyed in an ambulance in the first place is fairly telling that he is an exceptionally lucky man."
Police said they believed the man was intoxicated because a breath test suggested he was above the legal alcohol limit.
He was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition and has been blood-tested for alcohol.
A neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said she heard a loud bang shortly before officers arrived at the scene.
"This was bound to happen; cars travel way too fast around here and there really needs to be speed bumps or something to slow the traffic," she said.
Inspector Merrett said his message to the community was simple: "Don't drink and drive. Don't drive when you are tired."
He said there was a significant damage done to old gravestones and memorials and it "won't be a cheap undertaking" to restore the cemetery after the crash.
Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to contact them immediately.