17 January 2024

Crash Investigation Unit Commander says driver's U-turn decision led to fatal Sturt Highway collision

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Anthony Boyd and Crash Investigation Unit Commander Inspector Jason Hogan.

NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Anthony Boyd (left) and Crash Investigation Unit Commander Inspector Jason Hogan addressed the tragic Monday road incidents around the state that left five people dead. Photo: NSW Police.

NSW Police has said the horrific Riverina crash that left two dead and the Sturt Highway closed for more than 24 hours was directly linked to poor driver behaviour.

The state’s grim start to the week with four major collisions that resulted in five fatalities within 24 hours prompted senior police to urge drivers to adhere to road safety measures during this holiday season.

“The accidents seen are all related to driver behaviour … and not any other factor except people making poor decisions on our roads, not driving to the conditions and causing serious injury collisions,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Anthony Boyd.

“The message is very clear. We need you to adhere to the messaging of safety … your behaviour while driving a motor vehicle is your responsibility.

“You’ll be held accountable when you are driving in a manner which is dangerous.”

READ ALSO Police call for dashcam footage after a 90-year-old pedestrian was critically injured

Crash Investigation Unit Commander Inspector Jason Hogan said the tragic Sturt Highway collision near Hay (15 January at about 5:10 pm) was the result of the sedan driver attempting a U-turn in front of a fully loaded semi-trailer.

“The semi-trailer collided with the Holden Commodore after the truck driver tried to take evasive action but was unable to do so,” Insp Hogan said.

“The driver (71) and his front seat (female) passenger were killed as a result.

“A male and female in their 20s in the rear of the Commodore were able to get out and are currently in hospital receiving treatment for their injuries.”

The 27-year-old male driver of the truck was treated for minor injuries before being taken to Griffith Hospital for mandatory testing.

Murrumbidgee Police District detectives have commenced an investigation surrounding the incident and will report to the coroner.

The Sturt Highway remained closed for more than 24 hours in both directions near Old Common Road for the extensive clean-up operation. The highway reopened at 6:11 pm on 16 January.

READ ALSO Woman arrested on Riverina Highway after man found with severe burns

Other fatal incidents that occurred across the state on Monday were as follows.

A 77-year-old male driver died at the scene following a crash on Redfern Street, Cowra between a Holden Commodore station wagon and a Nissan Pathfinder SUV around 2:50 pm.

The 56-year-old driver of the SUV was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Two 17-year-old boys were killed in Sydney’s northwest after a Nissan 200SX sports car hit a power pole at Windsor Road at McGraths Hill at about 9:40 pm on Monday.

The 17-year-old P-plate driver was treated for serious chest and internal injuries and taken to Westmead Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

Police were told the car carrying the teenagers lost control before striking a Ford Falcon from behind and leaving the road before hitting the pole.

Police are urging anyone with information, CCTV vision or dashcam footage of the incidents to contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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