| 04.11,19. 02:32 AM |
Central coast teenagers seriously injured after allegedly being struck by drunk ride-share driver
Photo: Police have alleged alcohol was a factor in the incident. (ABC News)
Police have charged a ride-share driver who allegedly ran down a group of teenagers while drunk, on the New South Wales central coast.
Police said the teenagers ordered a ride-share service about 3:00am on Sunday, but when they got inside the vehicle the 18-year-old driver began driving erratically, causing the passengers to be thrown around.
Police alleged the driver was under the influence of alcohol and after dropping the teens off on Noraville Road in Budgewoi, performed a U-turn and drove straight towards them — striking two of them.
They alleged the teens then dragged the driver out of his van and assaulted him before officers arrived at the scene.
NSW Ambulance paramedics treated a 15-year-old male for a fractured pelvis, suspected leg fracture and back injuries before he was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
A 16-year-old female was also treated for significant head injuries and taken to Wyong Hospital in a serious condition. She was then transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital.
The driver sustained minor head injuries and was taken under police guard to Wyong Hospital where he received further treatment and underwent mandatory blood and urine testing.
He was later discharged and taken to Wyong Police station where he was charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, two counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct in charge of motor vehicle, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, driving while suspended, and take and drive conveyance without consent of owner.
His van has been seized for forensic examination.
Chief Inspector Colin Lott said the matter was still under investigation but it was believed alcohol had been a factor.
"Early information does suggest his driving was erratic and that's what lead to the altercation," he said.
"Any accident is taken seriously … any motor vehicle accident, whether intentional or not, where injuries are sustained, people can be killed or permanently injured so driving is a privilege, not a right, and people should respect that."