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Week of hell for region's roads

Police and emergency service personnel at the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way just north of the intersection with Leeville Station Rd, about 11km south of Casino, on Monday.
Police and emergency service personnel at the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way just north of the intersection with Leeville Station Rd, about 11km south of Casino, on Monday. Doug Eaton

THE carnage on Northern Rivers roads continued on Tuesday night with a 47-year-old Clarence Valley man killed after being hit by a car at Glenugie and an 18-year-old Casino man killed when his car hit a tree in Casino.

The death toll for the region since Monday stood at five last night.

The two deceased in Monday's crash at Leeville (near Casino) were identified last night as Robert Needham, 35, of Casino and Warren Endres, in his mid-30s, also from Casino. Both worked at the Casino meatworks.

A man driving the other vehicle involved in the crash, a Nissan Navara, is understood to be a Lower Clarence Magpies player.

He was in Lismore Base Hospital's intensive care unit last night in a serious but stable condition suffering spinal injuries.

On Monday a 50-year-old man died in a single-car crash at Woodburn.

The Kempsey man has not yet been publicly identified.

Grafton police duty officer Murray Gillett was reluctant to release details about the circumstances surrounding the Glenugie incident, which occurred about 5.45pm on Tuesday, out of respect to the man's family.

He said the driver of the Holden sedan which hit the man was a Coffs Harbour woman in her early 20s who had been interviewed by police, as had several witnesses.

The woman, who was not injured in the collision, underwent mandatory blood and urine tests.

The highway was closed for several hours in the vicinity of Eight Mile Ln while investigators examined the scene.

Police confirmed the man was not a hitchhiker but no further details were available.

About three hours after the Glenugie collision, a Ford Falcon hit a tree on Naughtons Gap Rd, killing the driver, Northern United footballer Kyle Yates, 18, of Casino.

Police said Mr Yates lost control after negotiating a left-hand bend, crossed to the wrong side of the road and crashed into the tree.

Police, paramedics and other emergency services attended the scene and found the teenager clinging to life. Despite extensive efforts he died at the scene.

Northern United first grade winger Josh Benn, 19, a passenger in the sedan, was taken to Lismore Base Hospital suffering minor injuries.

In another crash in Grafton about 10pm on Tuesday night, two cars collided at the intersection of Fry and Queen Sts and a passenger from one vehicle was taken to hospital.

Inspector Gillett said it appeared an 18-year-old P-plate driver may have failed to halt at a stop sign on Fry St in the foggy conditions and hit the other car driven by a 25-year-old woman.

Insp Gillett urged drivers to reflect on their driving behaviour in light of this week's tragedies.

He called for drivers to remain vigilant, manage their driver fatigue and drive to the conditions of the road.

Topics:  accident, death toll, fatal crashes, road toll


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