Newcastle NRL forward Pauli Pauli has been hospitalised with a hip injury following a multi-car accident north of Sydney.
The 22-year-old was driving one of seven vehicles involved in the crash, with eight adults suffering injuries in an incident that blocked the M1 at Cowan for several hours late on Wednesday night, police say.
Pauli's passengers were among those hospitalised, with a 27-year-old woman suffering a broken leg, an 18-year-old man sustaining suspected spinal injuries, and a 15-year-old breaking his collarbone.
Four men and women, aged between 47 and 66, were also hospitalised following the crash while a 63-year-old woman escaped injury.
A 13-year-old girl was treated for bruising.
Pauli, who has played 48 games across three NRL seasons, remains in Gosford Hospital in a stable condition. Read the full Police statement below.
The accident comes as another blow for the Knights in the same week Jarrod Mullen was provisionally suspended for testing positive to an anabolic steroid.
NSW Police Statement
Eight adults and two children were taken to hospital overnight following a multiple-vehicle crash which blocked the M1 at Cowan for three hours.
Shortly before 10pm (Wednesday), police and emergency services were called to the northbound lane of the M1, south of the Hawkesbury River Bridge, after seven vehicles were involved in the crash.
It’s believed three vehicles travelling north – a Toyota MR2, a Subaru Liberty and a Mazda Tribute – were involved in the initial crash. As a consequence of that initial crash, four more vehicles – a Toyota RAV4, a VW Golf .a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota Hilux – were also impacted.
The driver of the MR2, a 66-year-old man, sustained chest and head injuries; he was taken to Royal North Shore in a critical condition; his condition is now stable.
A 22-year-old man, driving the Liberty, sustained hip injuries. Of his three passengers: a 27-year-old woman, has a broken leg, an 18-year-old man has suspected spinal injuries, and a 15-year-old boy has a broken collarbone.
The driver of the Tribute, a 58-year-old woman from Gorokan, sustained a chest injury.
The driver of the RAV4, a 63-year-old woman from Copacabana, escaped injury.
The driver of the Golf, a 50-year-old man from Woy Woy, was taken to hospital with chest pain; a 47-year-old passenger is being checked for chest and neck injuries; while a 13-year-old girl has been
treated for bruising.
The injured were taken to variety of hospitals, including Royal North Shore, Gosford, Westmead and The Children’s Hospital.
The driver of the Mercedes, a 63-year-old woman from Morisset Park, escaped serious injury.
The driver of Hilux, a 42-year-old man from South Australia, escaped serious injury.
The cause of the crash is yet to be determined.
M1 northbound lanes were closed for three hours; traffic was diverted onto the Old Pacific Highway, Berowra.
Officers from the Crash Investigation Unit attended and are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to the crash to contact police via Crime Stoppers.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/