An elderly man suffered a fractured neck when he was punched to the ground in what police have described as a "cowardly attack" following a minor car crash in Sydney's west.
Police believe the 73-year-old man was not responsible for the crash in Strathfield on Monday afternoon, but when he got out of his vehicle to speak to the female driver and take photographs of the damage, he was viciously attacked by her passenger.
The elderly man's horrified wife was sitting in their vehicle at the time and witnessed the attack on The Boulevarde at 5.10pm.
Police said the elderly man remained in the intensive care unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Tuesday morning with a fractured neck and suspected bleeding on the brain.
His injuries were so severe that police have not been able to speak to him about his attacker, who ran away following the attack and left the man lying on the road.
"It's a cowardly attack," Inspector Sean Gabin, from the Flemington local area command, said.
"He has got out to speak to the other driver and, while taking photographs of the damage to the vehicle, he has then been assaulted."
Inspector Gabin said the elderly man and his 64-year-old wife were travelling along The Boulevarde in their silver Mazda when the white sedan reversed into their vehicle.
The man was attempting to speak to the female driver of the sedan when her male passenger, thought to be aged about 30, got out of the vehicle and became aggressive towards him.
Inspector Gabin said the men began arguing and, during the argument, the female driver of the sedan drove away, and her passenger punched the elderly man to the ground.
The younger man was last seen running west along Liverpool Road.
Inspector Gabin said the attack occurred in a commercial area of Strathfield, and police were confident there were CCTV cameras in the area where the attack occurred.
He said police were yet to speak to the elderly man to find out further details about what happened.
"He is in hospital at the moment. Later today, officers will try to speak to the gentleman to find out what happened," he said.
The man's attacker is described only as being aged about 30, about 180 centimetres tall with a slim to medium build. Police would also like to speak to the female driver of the vehicle.
Anyone with information has been urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.