A HAY Point man sparked a major rescue operation when police officers couldn't locate a driver involved in a two-vehicle crash on Sandy Creek bridge early yesterday morning.
It turns out he'd just decamped from the vehicle and fled the scene.
The RACQ-CQ Rescue chopper spotted the man in a nearly cane field safe and well later that morning and alerted police to his location.
A 23-year-old will appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court on drink driving and driving without due care and attention charges, a police spokesman said.
The crash occurred at 3.50am on the Bruce Hwy and as a result one of vehicles came to rest down an embankment next to Sandy Creek near Chelona, the spokesman said.
Police originally held fears the driver had fallen in or tried to swim across the creek after the two vehicles collided, the spokesman said.
The 45-year-old Andergrove man driving the other vehicle sustained no serious injuries.
Officers attending the scene called for a rescue operation after the vehicle was located by the creek a short time after 4am and the driver could not be found.
The expensive search was conducted by police, State Emergency Services and RACQ-CQ Rescue crew.
The helicopter performed an aerial search down the length of Sandy Creek from McEwens Beach, an RACQ-CQ Rescue spokesman said.
The rescue chopper located the man at about 8.45am lying beside a cane field on a property about 500 metres west of the Sandy Creek bridge, the spokesman said.
He was later treated for a minor injury to his hand.
The crew remained with the man until police arrived and took him into custody, he said.
The man is due to appear before the court on February 1.
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