TWO lives lost. Eight injured. Six accidents. Eight vehicles towed. All in three days.
That’s the shocking numbers of the carnage on local roads since Sunday, prompting a desperate plea from NSW Ambulance to take care on the roads.
Tamworth-based ambulance Inspector Sean O’Connor told The Leader the call outs to emergencies keep on coming.
“It’s quite confronting these accident scenes,” he said.
Often paramedics are first on the scene and they have to deal with the whole catastrophe and it can be heartbreaking.Ambulance NSW Inspector Sean O'Connor
“Often paramedics are first on the scene and they have to deal with the whole catastrophe and it can be heartbreaking.”
Inspector O’Connor has more than 30 years’ experience as a paramedic – most of it in the bush – and says fatal or serious crashes can be horrific for the emergency services.
“Paramedics attend all of these accidents, they’re fathers, sons, brothers, wives, girlfriends, mothers, friends,” he said.
In country areas, more often than not they know these people or someone connected to them.Ambulance NSW Inspector Sean O'Connor
“In country areas, more often than not they know these people or someone connected to them.”
The region’s road toll stands at four for the year – almost one every week.
There has been three deaths in the Oxley area and one in Narrabri since the start of the month – two of those since Sunday.
In Manilla, a well-known 64-year-old local painter died in hospital on Monday night after suffering critical injuries when his Nissan Navara slammed into an oncoming dual-cab light rigid truck on Fossickers Way, near the intersection of Bennett’s Lane.
Four other men inside the truck – aged in their twenties and thirties – suffered minor injuries and were treated by paramedics, and some were taken to hospital.
Police are investigating whether speed caused the Navara to cross double lines into the path of the truck.
“We’re pleading with the public to slow down, drive to the conditions and obey the road rules,” Inspector O’Connor said.
Rescue crews worked for an hour to free the driver before he was rushed to Tamworth hospital suffering fractured ribs and facial injuries.
The 42-year-old truck driver suffered minor injuries.
Police are investigating whether one of the vehicles failed to give way at the busy intersection.
Later on Tuesday, a second car was t-boned, just a few short kilometres away on the same highway in Tamworth, with a lady aged in her fifties taken to hospital for a shoulder injury.
The driver of the dual-cab ute escaped injury in the crash at the intersection of Greg Norman Drive in Tamworth.
Police believe the silver car crossed to the wrong side of the road, hit a culvert before becoming airbourne and slamming into an embankment. A passerby made the shocking discovery about 7am on Sunday.
On Monday morning, a truck tipped on the New England Highway near Kentucky, while a man, aged in his 60s, was taken to hospital after his white hatchback slammed into a light pole on Goonoo Goonoo Road in Tamworth later that day.