The long weekend got off to a tragic start yesterday when an eight-year-old boy was killed in a head-on crash on Appin Road.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene of the collision 10 kilometres south of Appin just before 4pm.
Illawarra Ambulance district officer Terry Morrow said the eight-year-old, travelling in an eastbound Holden Commodore, died instantly in the crash.
The driver, the boy's father, suffered a leg fracture and was airlifted to a Sydney hospital.
Two people travelling in a westbound Mitsubishi Outlander were also airlifted to hospital.
The male driver suffered lower leg fractures, while the female passenger suffered a serious ankle injury.
Only minutes later, there was a second serious crash just a few kilometres east at the intersection of Baden Powell Drive and Appin Road. Six people were injured in the accident.
A female travelling in a hatchback was trapped after the driver's door jammed on impact.
She was treated for possible spinal injuries, as well as pelvic and facial injuries.
Five people travelling in the second car were treated for their injuries and three were taken to Wollongong Hospital.
Holiday-weekend traffic ground to a halt in both directions and police were forced to close Appin Road and redirect vehicles away from the accident area.