Sarah Muller, 25 January 2016

A prison escapee has been arrested after crashing an allegedly stolen van into a petrol station on NSW’s south coast.

The 43-year-old man allegedly stole a black Mercedes Eco van from a car park shortly after escaping a minimum security prison in Nowra on Monday afternoon.

The escapee drove the van into a service station on the Princes Highway during a police pursuit, where he then crashed into a petrol bowser.

According to police reports, the escapee was a minimum-security inmate at the South Coast Correctional Facility, where he was working in the grounds.

No one was injured in the crash, however the bowser was destroyed and fuel was seen leaking onto the ground around the vehicle.

Prior to the crash, officers from Southern Traffic and Highway Patrol Command responded to reports that the van was on the Princes Highway.

A pursuit was initiated after the driver failed to stop the vehicle.

Video footage recorded on a mobile phone shows police arresting the man lying on the curb.

Police declared the petrol station area safe late Monday afternoon.

The driver was arrested and taken to the Nowra Police station, where he is assisting police with inquiries.

Extracted in full from the Sydney Morning Herald.