Two die in Pacific Hwy crash

Rescue services try frantically to save the lives of two people trapped inside this vehicle involved in a double fatality on the Pacific Hwy at Chatsworth Island yesterday.
Rescue services try frantically to save the lives of two people trapped inside this vehicle involved in a double fatality on the Pacific Hwy at Chatsworth Island yesterday. Debrah Novak

A TRUCK driver was being interviewed by Ballina police last night after a hunt for a vehicle that left the scene of a horrific double fatality crash yesterday morning.

A Leeton couple were killed after the Tarago they were travelling in collided with a Range Rover at Chatsworth, north of Maclean on the Pacific Hwy.

Police said there were reports a semi-trailer was involved in an incident with the northbound Range Rover, prompting it to spin around and cross into the south-bound lane.

The oncoming Tarago, carrying a 62-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, then ran into the rear-end of the Range Rover.

The pair travelling in the Tarago died at the scene.

Police said the truck allegedly failed to stop at the accident and continued north along the highway.

In its wake, emergency services worked tirelessly to release and treat a woman and her three children in the Range Rover.

The family, believed to be from Melbourne, were taken to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus with non life-threatening injuries.

Shortly after the crash, and after police spoke with witnesses at the scene, a warning went out to police north of the crash to look out for the truck that allegedly fled the scene.

At 11.25am, Ballina police pulled over a semi-trailer on the Pacific Hwy at Tintenbar.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Acting Inspector Matt Kehoe said the 40-year-old male driver was detained by police.

"Police received 000 calls that there was a serious accident and a description of a vehicle that may have been involved was circulated to police," he said.

"I understand a number of vehicles were stopped up the Pacific Hwy (yesterday) morning.

"Finally, two vehicles were stopped north of Ballina.

"A 40-year-old male driver of a vehicle was detained by police. He was subjected to mandatory blood and urine tests at Ballina Hospital."

As of 5pm yesterday, the driver was assisting police with their inquiries and no charges had been laid.

The highway at Chatsworth was blocked in both directions for several hours.

Topics:  car crash, fatalities, pacific highway



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