Fatality reiterates urgency for highway upgrade
NAMBUCCA Valley is mourning the death of a local man killed on the Pacific Hwy at the weekend.
Emergency services were called to the scene on Saturday about 4am and found a northbound B-double and a southbound sedan had collided at north Macksville, near the Lumsden Ln intersection.
The 73-year-old Nambucca Heads man driving the car died at the scene, police said.
Crash scene investigators established the fatal crash happened in the northbound lanes of the highway.
Police said the family of the deceased driver had been notified and crash scene investigations are continuing at this stage.
The cause of the crash is still to be determined and a report is being prepared for the coroner.
The Pacific Hwy was closed in both directions between Nambucca Heads and Macksville but was reopened later.
Saturday's fatality happened on the same stretch of highway as a two-vehicle crash that occurred last Tuesday, when a car crashed head-on with a truck.
Three passengers in the car involved in last Tuesday's crash were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries, including abdominal pain, contusion, back pain and abrasions.
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said upgrades to the Pacific Hwy, including the $830 million Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade, would pave the way to reducing road fatalities and injuries.
"The Pacific Hwy upgrade is one of the most important infrastructure projects being delivered jointly by the State and Federal Coalition governments, and one of the key benefits of the four-lane dual carriageway will be vastly improved safety for motorists and freight operators," Mrs Pavey said.
Mrs Pavey said upgrades to the highway would also reduce traffic congestion, remove corners, provide better turning locations, improve visibility and driver behaviour, and separate freight and long distance traffic from local traffic.
She said the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade included 20km of new highway and 15 bridges.
Mrs Pavey said Roads and Maritime Services was prioritising the opening of the bypass of Macksville and Bellwood by Christmas, weather permitting.