Highway head-onclaims two lives

Tragedy: Emergency crews were confronted with a horrific scene when two vehicles collided on the New England Highway south of Tamworth killing the two drivers. Photo: Barry SmithA SYDNEY woman and man were killed when their vehicles collided in a horrific accident on the New England Highway south of Tamworth yesterday.
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The pair were killed instantly when the maroon Toyota 4WD Four Runner and silver Mitsubishi Verada sedan collided head-on along the open stretch of road about 40km from Tamworth shortly after 9am.

The force of the vehicles colliding flipped the Toyota Four Runner onto its roof, crushing the cabin and killing the 61-year-old female driver who was the sole occupant.

A 55-year-old man, who was the sole occupant of the Mitsubishi sedan, was also killed when his car rolled a number of times, tearing away the right-hand side of the vehicle before coming to rest on its side near a tractor parked beside the highway.

Luggage, pillows and CDs thrown from the 4WD were among wreckage strewn across the highway, along with twisted metal and shattered glass.

Oxley Highway Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Darren Steel said a motorist who came across the crash shortly after 9am alerted emergency crews to the

accident.

“Police received a call from a motorist who had come across the crash shortly after 9am,” Inspector Steel said.

“When emergency crews arrived at the accident they found the female driver and sole occupant of the 4WD and male driver and the sole occupant of the Mitsubishi had died at the scene.

“At this stage we believe the 4WD was travelling north along the straight stretch of road and the Mitsubishi sedan was travelling south.

“The cause of the accident is not yet clear, however, we believe one of the vehicles may have crossed to the wrong side of the road resulting in a head-on collision.”

Emergency crews including police from Tamworth and Nundle, two ambulances, two ambulance rescue unit vehicles and two Rural Fire Services units attended to assist in clearing wreckage, brake and engine fluid and fuel from the highway.

The highway was closed for three hours with traffic diverted through Werris Creek and Quirindi while the two vehicles were removed and officers from the Tamworth Crash Investigation unit tried to determine the accident’s cause.

Inspector Steel said the crash was a timely reminder for motorists to take it easy on the roads especially during the school holidays and with the wrap-up of the Arrive alive Eastern University Games.

Crash investigators would like to hear from anyone who was driving along the highway at the time of or moments before the accident.

Anyone with information

is urged to contact

Tamworth police on

6768 2999 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

The highway was reopened shortly after midday.

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