UPDATE 1.30PM: PEDESTRIANS had a narrow escape when a car ran off the road and crashed into Weiley's Hotel in Grafton late this morning.

A tenant of the hotel, Scott Buckley, was the first on the scene to assist the female driver.

"I was coming around the corner and it all happened in front of me," he said.

"Her foot was still on the accelerator, there was smoke coming from the tyres everywhere.

"The first thing I did was reach in and got the key out to stop the car, then got her out of the car and put her in the recovery position until the ambulance arrived."

Mr Buckley was walking on the footpath when the car ploughed through brickwork and a park bench before slamming into one of the hotel balcony's posts.

Owner of the hotel Les Weiley was upstairs working when he heard the crash.

"It sounded like a train had run off the track, the noise was that loud," he said.

Suellen Dean was next door getting a massage when the car ran in to the post.

"I just heard the crash and came down to see what was happening," she said.

"The tyres were still spinning after the crash, there was so much smoke and burning rubber.

"I went down and helped (the driver) into the recovery position."

The driver was treated at the scene and taken to Grafton Base Hospital.

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A DRIVER and pedestrians had a lucky escape after a car mounted the footpath and crashed into Weiley's Hotel in Grafton late this morning.

The Ford sedan smashed through brickwork and demolished a bench seat at the intersection of Prince and Pound streets about 11.30am as Christmas shoppers packed the streets.

Fortunately no-one was hit by the car, while the female driver was helped from her vehicle and treated by ambulance officers at the scene before being taken to hospital.

The car stopped when it ran into one of the posts holding up the balcony of the hotel.

More to come.



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