Escaped circus monkeys add to traffic woes

An overturned trailer carrying three circus monkeys contributed to one of the region’s worst holiday traffic snarls at Bombo on Thursday.

The rhesus macaque monkeys escaped the damaged trailer about 2.50pm after the towing four-wheel-drive jackknifed on the Princes Highway.

Fire and Rescue NSW staff later rounded up the animals, which were travelling with the Stardust Circus.

A circus spokeswoman said the monkeys were uninjured and were likely to perform on Saturday afternoon at the first of 14 shows scheduled in Batemans Bay. The female driver was discharged yesterday evening from a brief stay in hospital.

The accident compounded serious congestion in the area as hordes of holidaymakers attempted to reach the South Coast.

The accident site was cleared about 4.45pm but traffic jams remained until about 5.45pm.

A queue up to two kilometres formed at Kiama, while at Berry it was backed up for one kilometre.

Nationally, the Christmas-New Year road toll rose to 22 yesterday, after the deaths of another three people.

In Mudgee, in Central Western NSW, a man died after he was hit by a station wagon while he was standing next to his car.

The 50-year-old man suffered extensive injuries and died at the scene. His death took the NSW toll to seven.

The female driver of the station wagon, aged in her 30s, was taken to hospital for mandatory blood tests.

The fatality followed five deaths in four separate accidents on NSW roads on Boxing Day.

In Adelaide, one person was killed in a two-car crash yesterday at an intersection at Penfield Gardens.

A second person was flown  to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

In Western Victoria, a driver was killed when his car veered into the path of an oncoming truck and burst into flames on a straight stretch of the Princes Highway at Warncoort, near Colac, just before 7am.

The truck driver received minor injuries.

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