Dashcam video shows a high-speed collision on the Sydney Harbor Bridge that resulted in a fiery crash and left one driver in a critical condition.
A car that exploded into flames and was involved in a three-vehicle collision on the Sydney Harbor Bridge was stolen from the CBD on Monday morning, according to NSW Police.
Sydney City Police Area commander Detective Superintendent Rohan Cramsie told 2GB that the car that caused the crash was believed to have been stolen from the CBD on Monday morning.
The driver, a man, has serious but non-life-threatening injuries and has been placed under hospital guard at Royal North Shore Hospital.
Police allege the Toyota Kluger’s owner was changing a tire on the corner of Sussex and Goulburn streets in Sydney’s CBD when a man approached and started a conversation about the car.
“There was a short scuffle which ensued and then the man got into the Kluger and drove it away headed towards the Harbor Bridge,” Superintendent Cramsie said.
“We’d certainly ask anybody who has witnessed the (alleged) stealing of that Kluger this morning to come forward.”
Dashcam footage shows a Toyota Kluger just minutes later traveling northbound on the Harbor Bridge before colliding with a HiAce van. The Kluger then rolls onto its roof and catches alight.
By-standers can be seen in dashcam footage coming to the rescue. They manage to free the man from the vehicle before it explodes into flames.
“It’s horrifying to watch,” Superintendent Cramsie said. “Those people that stopped their cars and got out and helped, they’ve been extremely brave and that’s not the type of thing that just anybody does”.
The video captures close-up the moment the black SUV flies past northbound traffic at high speed towards oncoming traffic.
The driver appears to lose control of the vehicle, swerving into the southbound lane and crashing head-on with the van.
Emergency services managed to extinguish the flames, and the bridge remained closed for about three hours.
The man and the female driver of the other vehicle were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, with the man taken to Royal North Shore Hospital and the woman to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The van driver was trapped and freed by rescue operatives before he was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Other motorists reported hearing an explosion on the bridge.
Horrifying pictures show the car surrounded by flames as smoke billows from the bridge.
Fire and Rescue NSW Acting Superintendent Mat Sigmund told 7 News that
an officer from the Traffic Management Center (TMC) managed to drag the van away from the fiery vehicle.
The officer was working at the TMC depot located on the Harbor Bridge and was able to drive quickly to the scene of the incident and perform the heroic act.
A person was trapped inside the van and it took rescue teams some time to free them from the vehicle.
“Fortunately for that person, that guy from the TMC did a great job,” Mr Sigmund said.
Large plumes of thick black smoke could be seen coming from one of the vehicles.
“We heard that one of the persons was still in the vehicle so we got to work quite quickly,” Mr Sigmund said.
Police Rescue offered fire protection to one vehicle while assisting in freeing a trapped passenger from inside.
A person from a second vehicle managed to free themselves from their vehicle.
The TMC advised motorists to avoid the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area and use the Sydney Harbor Tunnel as an alternative,” it said in a statement.
“Buses through the area will also be delayed.”
Traffic was backed up across the city as emergency services attended the scene.
By 8.30am, the northbound lane remained blocked and two southbound lanes had reopened but traffic was slow moving.
Fire and Rescue NSW reported that police are trying to get the bridge open as soon as possible.
Transport for NSW advised motorists to avoid crossing the bridge as peak-hour traffic was heavily impacted.
2GB’s Tom Malone said he was about 2km west of the crash when he heard a loud explosion.
“You could easily see naked flame, it must be four to 5m flames coming out of the explosion,” he said.