Police investigations continue into tragic fatal accident

The loss of another life to fatigue on the Mitchell Highway is just devastating for the community, Narromine mayor Craig Davies said.

A 29-year-old Trangie man was killed on Sunday morning when the Toyota Hilux utility he was a passenger in hit a tree.

The 19-year-old driver was taken to Dubbo Hospital for treatment.

Police believe fatigue was the primary cause of the single-vehicle accident, which occurred at 5.50am on Sunday morning on the Mitchell Highway, eight kilometres west of Narromine.

Mr Davies said it was another blow for the Trangie community, which is becoming all too familiar with fatal accidents.

“It’s devastating to lose anyone in these accidents but it’s particularly tough when it is a local resident and someone so young,” he said.

“I know the family, and I knew of the man, although not well, and it’s terrible for them to be going through this.”

Mr Davies and Narromine Shire Council have been working with Roads and Maritime Services in a bid to make another section of of the Highway between Trangie and Nevertire safer.

He said the number of fatigue-related accidents occurring around Trangie was concerning.

“This crash has occurred on a piece of road that isn’t historically as notorious. There is a five or six kilometre section of the Mitchell Highway [on the western side of Trangie] where there have been 40 deaths in 40 years,” the mayor said.

“We have been working with the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) at length to come up with every safety measure possible.

“They are clearing trees on either side of the road, there is safety fencing going up and audible lines so hopefully they can have a positive outcome.”

Mr Davies said he was struggling to understand why that section of the Mitchell was so prone to incidents.

“It’s just shocking. You drive along the highway and there is just cross after cross. The number of memorials is staggering,” he said.

Orana Local Area Command’s Inspector Jason Pietruszka said investigations into the accident are continuing.

“We’ve got detectives out there at the scene investigating the cause of the accident," he said.

“Until they come back with some findings there isn’t much more we can say that hasn’t already been said.”

Dubbo MP Troy Grant, who has the police and emergency portfolios, said Sunday’s accident is tragic for the communities involved, as well as the crews who had to attend the scene.

“This is one of a series this year, it’s been a really rotten year on that patch for fatal accidents,” he said.

“We have a family grieving, a community grieving and we have to do more to get the education out there, because the impacts on communities and emergency service crews are severe and long term.

“I’m still haunted by a number of accidents I attended over the years. It never leaves you, it’s a shadow that follows around the people that attend these incidents.

“While it’s their job and they’ll keep turning up and doing it, whatever we can do as a community to mitigate or prevent these accidents from happening is what we are chasing.