A “gruesome” Queanbeyan car crash scene in which a man’s leg was severed happened during late-night shopping and was seen by dozens of people, according to witnesses.
The single-vehicle crash happened on Bungendore Road about 8.05pm on Thursday, when a 32-year-old man’s Honda Accord left the road and hit a sign.
The car kept going and crashed into a tree. The force of the impact tore the vehicle in half, and threw the man from the car.
NSW Ambulance confirmed the man's left leg was severed in the crash, while police said his arm was also partially severed, and his pelvis broken.
An ambulance transported the man to Canberra Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. The man's condition was described as stable on Friday morning.
Police seized the car for mechanical examination, and specialist forensic officers were called in to examine the scene. Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing.
Kirsty Edwards, who lives across the road from where the crash occurred, said the noise from was “huge” and brought a lot of people out from their homes.
“It was so loud I thought it was a truck. Straight after the bang you could hear so many doors opening,” Ms Edwards said.
The 21-year-old and her partner Scott Pollock, 23, said they were two of the first people on the scene. Mr Pollock found the driver still conscious about 40 metres from where his car hit, and tried to help by keeping him calm until emergency services arrived.
Ms Edwards said a combination of late-night shopping and the location of the incident on a busy road meant a crowd quickly gathered, but were hesitant to get too close.
“Most people around us were freaking out,” she said. “It was a pretty gruesome thing to see and look at.”
Also overnight, there was a fatal crash on the NSW south coast, the second in less than 24 hours.
The three-vehicle head-on crash happened on the Princes Highway at South Nowra about 11.30pm.
According to police, a Toyota Corolla and Toyota Tarago collided head-on, and the Corolla was then thrown into the path of a Ford Courier.
The 27-year-old male driver of the Corolla died at the scene.
A 69-year-old man was trapped in the Ford for an hour, before being freed and taken to Shoalhaven Hospital, and then airlifted to St George Hospital.
The 36-year-old male driver and a 29-year-old female passenger in the Tarago were also taken to Shoalhaven Hospital for treatment.
The highway was closed while police investigated the incident, but has since been reopened. Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
The crash comes after a 70-year-old man was killed on Thursday morning when his truck left the Princes Highway at Termeil and hit a tree.