FRANTIC HUNT: Swift water rescue personnel search a drain where a ute lay overturned at Palmview.
FRANTIC HUNT: Swift water rescue personnel search a drain where a ute lay overturned at Palmview. Stuart Cumming

Driver hitchhiked home after ute highway crash

SWIFT water rescue teams scoured a waterlogged drain yesterday after fearing a driver was trapped under an overturned ute.

Emergency crews were alerted to the black Holden Commodore found upside down between the north and southbound lanes of the Bruce Hwy at Palmview about 7am.

Skid marks suggested the ute may have been travelling south when it crashed.

When searchers failed to find a driver, tow truck drivers were called to move the vehicle so the drain could be searched.

However, police were able to use registration details to contact the North Lakes driver, who told them he had crashed on Sunday night.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Maroochydore station officer Ash Dickson said the engine was cold, the keys had been taken and the windows were open when he inspected the submerged ute.

"It's had a fairly big impact," he said. "The airbags have gone off."

The ute's retrieval at about 8.30am caused delays for morning commuters.

Beerwah police officer-in-charge Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Peatling said the driver, aged in his late 30s, had walked and hitch-hiked home.


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