A horrific 24 hours on NSW roads has triggered a stark warning for motorists to take extra care during the school holidays.
Five people have been killed on the state’s roads in a day, pushing the year’s road toll to 109.
The tragic tally has soared by 25 deaths compared with the same time last year.
“Certainly these sad and tragic events are just a reminder to the key issues on our roads,” NSW Police chief inspector Phil Brooks told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
“This is a reminder that personal responsibility is the key to road safety right across the NSW road network.”
Two women died in separate crashes on Tuesday morning, while two men lost their lives in a head-on collision near Tamworth on Monday afternoon.
A elderly woman also died on Monday when she was struck by a car in West Ryde.
The 82-year-old woman was taken to Westmead Hospital but died a short time later, resulting in a 53-year-old woman being charged with negligent driving occasioning death.
A crash on the Sturt Highway in Maude, near Hay, on Tuesday has left one woman dead and a truckie fighting for his life.
“That road train is on its side and the driver is in a critical condition waiting to be airlifted (to hospital),” Insp Brooks said.
All available highway patrol officers have been summoned to the state’s roads during the school holidays, with some 1300 police patrolling the network in 500 vehicles.
“Police officers are working on their days off, working additional overtime, all focused on getting school holiday motorists to and from their holiday destinations safely,” Insp Brooks said.
“Anyone doing the wrong thing will be identified and prosecuted very quickly.”
Investigators will now try to piece together the spate of deadly crashes, which Insp Brooks said had occurred in near-perfect driving conditions.
“No doubt investigations will focus on speeding, drink or drug driving, fatigue, not wearing a seatbelt and being distracted by mobile phones,” he said.
A 54-year-old woman died in a four-vehicle smash in early morning rain on Sydney’s M7 motorway on Tuesday, causing a 10km traffic jam with all northbound lanes closed for a couple of hours.
Police are appealing for public information after a 76-year-old man died at the scene after a car he was travelling in collided head-on with another vehicle on Werris Creek Road, near Tamworth, on Monday afternoon.
The 32-year-old driver of the other car was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition but died in Tuesday’s early hours.