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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Police block ambulance from injured woman

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A young woman who hit her head falling backwards onto the ground during the height of yesterday’s police action at Doubtful Creek coal-seam gas site was denied urgent paramedic treatment while police gave priority protection to Metgasco’s convoy of vehicles.

According to a witness account, Rock Valley resident Adrienne Stones was ‘stood up and moved on’ by police despite her condition and against well-known first aid protocols where neck, back or head injury may have occurred.

Ms Stones tripped and fell during a ‘slow walk’ backwards away from the gates of the site at around 1.30pm as the police forcibly cleared protesters during the lead-up to the arrival of the Metgasco convoy. She hit her head on the bull-bar of a car as she fell backwards and hit the ground.

An ambulance was despatched from Kyogle to attend to her but the road was blocked by a police cordon that refused to let it past for at least 15 minutes, during which time the AJ Lucas drilling rig and seven Metgasco support vehicles entered the driveway to the property.

The ambulance was finally given access to the patient at around 2.30pm, after the last of the Metgasco vehicles had driven through.

Paramedics then placed a neck brace on Ms Stones and used a slide to manoeuvre her off the ground, onto a stretcher and into the ambulance.

Dr Wayne Somerville, a clinical psychologist who was attending the rally, told Echonetdaily he witnessed police dragging Ms Stones to her feet after the fall and forcing her to move on.

Dr Somerville, who is also trained in neuropsychology, said, ‘she went down very hard; the police were pushing the crowd back. She hit hear head very hard on the bull-bar and went to the ground,’ he told Echonetdaily.

‘They [police officers] lifted her immediately to her feet and now she’s lying there complaining of injury to her neck and migraine headache.

‘What I said to the police was, “you wouldn’t do that to a rugby league footballer. If they hit the ground hard, you don’t rip them to their feet”’.

Echonetdaily has forwarded a list of questions to the media liaison officer covering the protests regarding the incident but was still awaiting a response at deadline.


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