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Driver under police guard in hospital after truck pursuit through two states

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A man remains under police guard in hospital after a truck was pursued from Queensland into NSW – hitting two police vehicles enroute – before it was stopped south of Moree overnight.

Officers attached to New England Police District were alerted by Queensland Police about 6pm yesterday that a table-top truck, laden with a stolen bobcat, had entered NSW at Boggabilla and was being driven south along the Newell Highway.

They were advised the truck had been followed by Queensland Police, with a 27-year-old senior constable sustaining minor injuries when his vehicle was allegedly rammed at Millmerran. He has been treated in hospital and allowed to leave.

NSW Police attempted to intercept the truck about 100km north of Moree; however, will allege the driver ignored directions and continued south, frequently crossing to the incorrect side of the highway.

A pursuit was initiated with road spikes deployed at the Gwydir River Bridge, 10km north of Moree, which deflated one front tyre; however, the driver continued south.

A fully-marked NSW Police caged-truck, which had been positioned to block northbound traffic as a precaution, was clipped by the truck south of Moree, rendering it unusable.

The truck continued on the wrong side of the highway for a further 10km before hitting a power pole snapping it off and dislodging the bobcat from the tray. Powerlines were also brought down, impacting police and other motorists.

The truck was again driven from the scene – leaving the bobcat behind – allegedly continuing to swerve into northbound lanes.

Dozens of light and heavy vehicles were forced to pull off the highway taking evasive action to avoid a collision with the oncoming truck.

The truck eventually came to a stop south of Gurley, about 30km south of Moree, with the front nearside wheel ground down to the steel hub, and police arrested the alleged driver, a 24-year-old man from Quirindi.

He was taken to Moree District Hospital for assessment and mandatory blood and urine testing. He remains there under guard and police intend to speak with him once he’s deemed fit.

Inquiries reveal the bobcat was reported stolen from Boonah showground in Queensland yesterday morning. It sustained significant damage when the truck hit the power pole.

The Newell Highway was closed in both directions between Moree and Bellata for several hours while the scene was examined and the wreckage removed.

Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam vision – especially truck drivers – of this incident to contact Moree Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

There were no injuries to NSW Police officers or members of the public as consequence of this incident.

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