Driver critical after ute rollover

A DRIVER is in a critical condition after he was thrown 12m from his vehicle in a crash in Mt Direction yesterday. It is the second serious single-vehicle accident in three days where police say the driver has not been wearing a seatbelt.

On Thursday, Tasmania recorded it first fatal crash of the Christmas-New Year holiday period, when a 58-year-old Wesley Vale man crashed his vehicle into a tree.

The accident at Mt Direction yesterday occurred on Dalrymple Rd about 5pm and left the male driver with critical head and chest injuries and the passenger with minor injuries.

The white 1994 Toyota Hi- lux four-wheel-drive, driven by a 34-year-old Mt Direction man, was travelling north, 4km from the East Tamar Highway, when its left wheels hit gravel on a right-hand bend.

The vehicle was then steered back on to the bitumen but lost control, ending up on an embankment on the eastern side of the road. The Toyota flipped three times.

The unrestrained driver was thrown out of the vehicle as it rolled, landing about 12m from the vehicle in a farm paddock.

The passenger, a 44-year-old man from Avoca, was restrained and suffered abrasions and lacerations to the left eye.

He was later discharged from hospital.

The road was closed to traffic for about three hours while the Tasmania Police accident investigation unit and forensic unit attended the scene.

The State Emergency Service, Tasmanian Ambulance Service and the Tasmania Fire Service also attended the incident.

Police have asked any one who may have witnessed the crash, or the occupants of a small grey vehicle travelling south on Dalrymple Rd near the crash scene, to contact the Northern Accident Investigation Squad on 63363701 or 63363936.

•Two cars collided on the Bass Highway near Deloraine yesterday. Police said the cars collided near the Emu Bay Rd off-ramp about 9.35am.

Three people were taken to the Launceston General Hospital with minor injuries.

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