22-year old Newcastle Knights prop Pauli Pauli has been hospitalized with a hip injury following a multi-car accident on the M1 Pacific Motorway north of Sydney. The NRL player was driving one of the seven vehicles involved in the crash, which injured a total of eight adults and two children on Wednesday night.
“Pauli has got a dislocated hip, but long-term, he’s fine,” Knights coach Nathan Brown said on Thursday. “A dislocated hip is not great for him. I’m sure he’s a little bruised, but I’m sure he will be fine and his welfare is obviously important to us.”
Pauli Pauli was driving a Subaru and had three passengers with him. His passengers were an 18-year-old man who is believed to have suffered spinal injuries, a 27-year-old woman who suffered a broken leg and a 15-year-old boy who suffered from a broken collarbone.
M1 Pacific Motorway was subsequently closed for three hours while the wreckage was cleared and emergency workers treated the victims. A 66-year-old man was the most seriously injured after suffering chest and head injuries but is now in improved condition after surgery.
The 58-year-old female driver of the Mazda suffered a chest injury. A 50-year-old man was also reported to have experiencing chest pain, a 47-year-old was also admitted to the hospital for neck and chest injuries and the 13-year-old suffered from bruising.
Brown said they cannot say how long it would take Pauli to fully recover before he can play again. The coach also said that other Knights players have expressed their concerns for Pauli. “Football clubs are like families, and all the guys are obviously [concerned] for Pauli,” Brown added. “I’m sure he will get plenty of visitors.”
Authorities from the Crash Investigation Unit are investigating the exact cause of the crash. The police are also asking anyone who has any information with the crash to contact them via Crime Stoppers.