Police officers first on the scene of a tragic incident tried to save a man thrown about 60 metres from a vehicle in a crash that claimed the lives of two Wagga locals.
Emergency services responded following reports a Holden Colorado had left the Olympic Highway, rolled down an embankment before hitting trees, ejecting the occupants.
The incident occurred on a bend north of Henty about 2.25am on Sunday.
A 22-year-old man from Kooringal died at the scene, and a 31-year-old man from Boorooma was treated but passed away en route to Wagga Base Hospital.
Wagga duty operations manager Eamonn Purcell said it was a complex scene for the emergency services to navigate after both men had been ejected from the car, with one about 60 metres away from the vehicle.
"When our first on scene paramedics got there, they found there were two patients, two males," he said.
"One patient was deemed to be deceased, the other patient had CPR being done by police, and we continued on with the resuscitation of that patient who died en route to hospital.
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"The patient had been ejected through the vehicle through a forest of trees ... it was very difficult to treat him because we were basically in the middle of a pine forest."
Inspector Purcell said the vehicle had been extensively damaged in the crash. He commended the efforts of emergency services, who tried hard to save the 31-year-old.
"Police were really, really good in terms of identifying someone who could be saved and then starting CPR," Inspector Purcell said.
"If police hadn't started CPR, there would have been nothing for us to do."
Without speculating on the circumstances of Sunday's crash, Inspector Purcell said it was always difficult for paramedics to attend these incidents and urged the community to be safe when driving.
"We would call on everyone to consider what they do when they drive," he said.
"Drive safely because ultimately a mistake in a car at high speed means your life is going to change.
"It's quite a tragic event and affects a lot of people."
Riverina Highway Patrol Inspector Darren Moulds said it was a difficult scene for officers.
"These scenes are quite confronting and particularly when police need to administer CPR prior to the ambulance arriving," he said.
Officers from Riverina Police District attended and established a crime scene, with the highway closed for several hours while the scene was forensically examined.
An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the crash, and anyone with information or dashcam footage is urged to come forward.
Reports will be prepared for the information of the coroner.
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