Trangie tragedy prompts plan to widen section of Mitchell Highway

A section of the Mitchell Highway that has claimed at least four lives since January 2012 will be widened after the latest tragedy on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to the highway about 15 kilometres north-west of Trangie about 5.45am on Sunday after reports an eastbound car had left the roadway and hit a tree head-on.

The passenger, a 19-year-old man, was taken by ambulance to Dubbo Hospital, but the driver, who has been identified as 17-year-old Jake Fardell, was trapped for some time and died en route to hospital.

Police inquiries are ongoing, but fatigue is being considered a factor in the tragedy.

Narromine Shire mayor Craig Davies expressed his devastation that the section of road had claimed yet another life.

On Monday morning he received an email from NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), suggesting funding was now available to remove trees and vegetation, widening the road corridor by six metres on either side.

“I would hope that we would be able to stretch that out to 10 metres,” Cr Davies said.

“We’re hoping that can happen very quickly and try to bring an end to the tragedies.”

Cr Davies is set to meet with NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey next week, and the Mitchell Highway black spot will be on the agenda along with the possibility of installing audio tactile marking in the centre of the road to complement audio tactile marking on its edges.

“Despite the fact that we have had the audible lines that have been installed out there, which we’re very grateful for, it seems that that’s just not quite enough to stop these accidents,” Cr Davies said.

“Clearly fatigue is playing the major role.”

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