Five perish in 'horror day' on state's roads

Drivers in NSW are being urged to slow down and smarten up after the state claimed all five of the nation’s road deaths so far on Boxing Day.

Two men died less than an hour apart this afternoon after their cars hit trees in separate accidents, taking the state’s Boxing Day road toll to five.

Six people have now died in NSW over the holiday period while 16 people have died across Australia.

A sedan left the road on Murray Street at Abernethy in the Hunter Valley and collided with a tree at about 2.30pm, a police spokeswoman said.

The driver, whose age isn’t known, was discovered by a passing motorist and he later died at the scene.

It followed a similar accident involving a tree at 1.45pm at Hargreaves, in the state’s central west.

The driver was taken to hospital while emergency services worked for some time to free the passenger, who suffered fatal injuries.

The Ambulance Service of NSW described it as a ‘‘horror day on the road’’ and urged drivers to slow down.

Earlier in the day an elderly couple from Fiji was killed and five other family members injured six kilometres north of Holbrook in southern NSW.

A 14-year-old teenager was also critically hurt when the seven-seater Nissan Patrol, which was travelling south, left the Hume Highway and rolled at about 6.55am.

A 70-year-old man sitting in the front passenger seat and his 70-year-old wife, who was sitting in the rear, died at the scene. The Fiji nationals were visiting Sydney with other family members.

A 67-year-old woman was airlifted to Melbourne with possible spinal injuries.

The driver, a 44-year-old man, his 45-year-old wife and her 40-year-old sister escaped with minor injuries.

The crash survivors are from Chisholm in the ACT and all are from the same family.

In another fatal accident just minutes apart at 6.50am, police were called to a two-car collision at Marsden Park in Sydney’s northwest.

A 27-year-old man was found dead at the scene while a 24-year-old man from Lithgow, driving a Mitsubishi Magna, was taken to Westmead Hospital.

He has undergone mandatory blood tests and undergone further treatment for head and facial injuriesIt will be alleged the 24-year-old was an unaccompanied learner driver.

The accidents have prompted police to warn that drivers are ignoring pleas to take care in the wet conditions with alarming evidence of erratic driving.  

‘‘We have seen a significant rise in the number of people injured on our roads,’’ warned Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander John Hartley.

‘‘This is a pattern seen during poor driving conditions.’’


The scene of the fatal accident near Holbrook. Photo: David Thorpe, Wodonga Border Mail

The scene of the fatal accident near Holbrook. Photo: David Thorpe, Wodonga Border Mail


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