A Mangerton man was refused bail over a police pursuit where he allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road in a car with two flat tyres.
Twenty-five-year-old Matthew McElroy appeared in Wollongong Bail Court on Sunday, charged with several driving offences that came out of an alleged incident on Saturday afternoon.
According to facts tendered by police, at about 3pm several people witnessed a silver Ford Falcon sedan hit a traffic light at the intersection of Lake Entrance Road and Wattle Road and continue driving.
Police responding to the incident had the number plate of the car and spotted the vehicle, allegedly being driven by McElroy.
The police turned on the lights and siren and began a pursuit, while McElroy allegedly sped away at speeds of at least 100km/h in a 70km/h zone.
Police caught up with the vehicle at the Urana Way intersection after it began to slow down due to damage caused by the accident.
The damage included two flat tyres at the front of the car and “pieces of rubber were being thrown out from underneath the vehicle as it continued on Wattle Road”, the police facts alleged.
According to police, the accused crossed over unbroken lines twice and into oncoming traffic. Drivers had to stop or swerve to avoid the car, with one ending up on the median strip.
McElroy’s car came to rest at Liddell Street and he allegedly jumped out and ran off.
A short time later, police found him allegedly hiding in the backyard of a Jindabyne Street house.
The police facts claim he told interviewing officers that he had dropped his girlfriend off at Shellharbour Square, accidentally leaving via the entrance.
He claimed this put him on the wrong side of the road but he continued to Wattle Street rather than stop.
He admitted hitting the traffic light but, as no other car was involved, he did not think he had to stop.
In Wollongong Bail Court police prosecutor Sergeant Ryan opposed bail, stating this was “a fairly horrific set of facts”.
He added there was “a very strong suspicion” the accused was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged incident.
McElroy’s solicitor said he denied the offences and she repeated his explanation that he found himself on the wrong side of the road after using the incorrect exit at the car park.
He admitted hitting the traffic light and agreed in hindsight that he should have stopped.
His solicitor suggested granting bail with strict conditions, including not being allowed to drive a vehicle.
Registrar Darcy refused bail, stating she was not satisfied McElroy would abide by any conditions imposed.
He was remanded to appear before Wollongong Local Court on February 1.