TWO KILLED IN HEAD-ON
By CRAIG McTEAR
COLD, dark and deadly.
That was the Pacific Highway at 4.40am yesterday when a southbound Nissan four-wheel-drive and a northbound B-double smashed head-on near Macksville.
The Nissan driver and his female passenger ? neither had been formally identified late yesterday ? died at the scene.
Police suspect the man may have veered to the wrong side of the road after falling asleep, colliding with an oncoming utility before crashing into the prime mover.
Ambulance officers treated the 50-year-old Newcastle truckie for shock. It is understood he was headed for Coffs Harbour with general cargo on behalf of Hills Transport Country Express.
Two other people involved in the accident were not hurt.
The horrendous collision happened in dry conditions in a 100km/h zone on a slight highway bend about 5km north of the Macksville Bridge.
It was only 300 metres or so north of centre-line safety barriers at the notorious Wright's Corner, and a speed camera.
The accident left the Nissan facing the nearby Nambucca River and blocking the southbound lane.
The B-double came to rest on the other side of the road in the driveway of a rural property, about 50 metres from a house.
Firefighters decanted 150 litres of diesel from a ruptured fuel tank on the B-double.
The Pacific Highway between Macksville and Nambucca Heads was closed for seven hours while emergency and salvage crews worked at the scene. Semi-trailer and other heavy vehicle drivers had no choice but to sit it out. They were banked up for several kilometres either side of the crash zone.
Light traffic only was able to use a detour via Nambucca Heads, Wirrimbi and Macksville, which added 10 to 20 minutes to travel time.
Police are now preparing a report for the coroner.