The scene on the Pacific Highway overnight. Picture: 9 NEWS
The scene on the Pacific Highway overnight. Picture: 9 NEWS

IN SHOCK: Woman witnessed horror crash that killed partner

UPDATE 4.30pm: ONE of the men killed in last night's tragic crash on the Pacific Highway has been identified by family as Grafton father Stephen Edwards. 

Crash victim Stephen Edwards. Picture: Facebook
Crash victim Stephen Edwards. Picture: Facebook

"Rest In Peace to a devoted father, son, brother and friend," his father, Noel Edwards, said on Facebook overnight.

"We love and miss you forever son."

His mother, Heather Edwards, added: "Love u my boy always".

The victim's brother, Wayne Edwards, commented: "Wish it wasn't real Stephen but I do love you, never said it enough. I will always remember you miss you mate love you."

He was the driver of the SUV. Picture: Facebook
He was the driver of the SUV. Picture: Facebook

Others sent their condolences over the loss of a "true friend" and "best mate" with "a massive heart".

 

UPDATE 12pm: AN EXPERIENCED police officer has expressed his utter dismay at the series of events that led to an horrific fatal crash on the Pacific Highway last night.

Richmond Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said the deaths were completely preventable, and was shocked a simple altercation could result in the death of two people.

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Two men died after getting out of their vehicles during a road rage incident on the Pacific Highway and being hit by a passing truck. Picture: 9 NEWS
Two men died after getting out of their vehicles during a road rage incident on the Pacific Highway and being hit by a passing truck. Picture: 9 NEWS

"There is nothing that should cause you to get that angry and that upset that you would have an altercation with another person and you lose your life," he said.

"If you are concerned about the behaviour of other drivers, pull over and call police.

"Don't let it lead to an altercation. There is nothing worse than losing your life over a very minor matter."

To men died when they were hit by a B-double on the Pacific Highway south of Woodburn.
To men died when they were hit by a B-double on the Pacific Highway south of Woodburn. Alison Paterson

Insp McKenna said police were still investigating the events leading up to the fatal crash, and did not yet know what sparked the initial conflict.

He said the driver of a small SUV and the driver of a prime mover stopped in the middle of the Pacific Hwy, 5km south of Woodburn, following an incident north of Woodburn. 

He said the two vehicles were encroaching on the northbound lane, with their headlights on, when the drivers became involved in an altercation.

Insp McKenna said the driver of the northbound B-double saw the stationery vehicles and moved to avoid them, but did not see the fighting men, and they were struck and killed. 

 

UPDATE, 10.40am: A WOMAN is in shock after witnessing the fatal crash that killed her partner last night on the Pacific Highway, south of Woodburn.

The woman was a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in the crash.

Richmond Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said two vehicles were travelling south and pulled into the northbound lane where the two men became involved in an altercation.

A B-double travelling north hit the two men, killing them instantly.

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Insp McKenna said the driver of the B-double had no chance of avoiding the collision.

Police are reviewing dashcam footage from the B-double involved in the crash and another vehicle that was following the SUV south.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and five ambulances were dispatched to the scene, but only one was required.

Insp McKenna said they were offering support to the woman and emergency service workers who attended the crash.

 

UPDATE, 8.30am: RICHMOND Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said the double fatality on the Pacific Highway last night appeared to have occurred after a "minor road rage incident" escalated.

"Both vehicles were travelling south and it appears a minor road rage incident occurred  prior to the drivers entering Woodburn," he said.

"About 5km south of Woodburn the two vehicles heading south stopped in the northbound lane, where we understand here was a physical altercation between the two of them.

"Then a northbound B-double has come along, seen the cars parked on the side of the road, moved over and has struck the men."

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Insp McKenna said both vehicles had their lights on.

He said police were still waiting on the identity of both men to be confirmed.

"This is the third fatality we have had since Wednesday," he said,

"Each incident was preventable."

Insp McKenna said police are urging all drivers to take extra care on the roads.

"If you are concerned about another driver's behaviour, then pull over and call police," he said.

There has been a serious crash at Woodburn.
There has been a serious crash at Woodburn.

 

UPDATE, Tuesday, 7.30am: POLICE are working to formally identify two men killed when they were struck by a B-double truck on the Pacific Highway near Woodburn overnight.

Police have been told the drivers of an SUV and a semi-trailer, carrying logs, were both travelling south along the highway about 8pm (Monday 11 May 2020), when the drivers were involved in a minor altercation.

The drivers stopped about 5km south of Woodburn and got out of their vehicles.

Witnesses have told officers from Richmond Police District the men were fighting in the northbound lane when they were struck by a B-double being driven by a 35-year-old man from Albury.

Both men sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene.

While the men are still to be formally identified, it's believed the SUV driver is a Grafton man aged in his 30s, while the driver of the semi-trailer is from Smiths Lake, aged in his 40s.

The driver of the truck was taken to Ballina Hospital where he has undergone mandatory blood and urine testing.

The highway was closed for almost nine hours while the crime scene was examined.

Inquiries are continuing by officers from Richmond PD, who are calling for witnesses to the incident to contact them via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

 

UPDATE, Monday, 10.25pm: TWO pedestrians have died after they were struck by a truck at Woodburn.

About 8.10pm on Monday, emergency services attended the Pacific Highway, about 5km south of Woodburn, following reports of a crash involving two pedestrians and a truck.

Two male pedestrians suffered critical injuries and died at the scene.

The driver of the truck, a 35-year-old man, was not injured and has been taken to Ballina Hospital where he will undergo mandatory blood and urine testing.

A crime scene has been established and an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The Pacific Highway will be closed to traffic for several hours and motorists are advised to delay their travel plans or use an alternative route.

The Pacific Highway is closed between is closed to traffic between Woodburn and New Italy.

For further updates, please visit www.livetraffic.com before travelling.

 

UPDATE, 9.15pm: A POLICE spokeswoman says the incident at Woodburn is "serious" and drivers should expect the Pacific Highway to remain closed for most of the night.

She urged people to avoid the highway and use the Summerland Way.

More to come.

 

UPDATE, 9.05pm: THE Pacific Highway is closed in both directions due to a crash involving a truck and pedestrians around 5km south of Woodburn.

The Transport Management Centre says motorists are advised to avoid the area.

"Motorists can use an alternative route via the Bruxner Highway and Summerland Way through Casino and Grafton, and should allow extra travel time," a spokesperson said.

"Emergency services and traffic crews are attending."

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com, download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 701.

 

Original story: MULTIPLE emergency crews are on scene at a serious incident involving a B-double truck and pedestrians near Woodburn.

The crash happened about 5km south of Woodburn at 8.25pm, according to Live Traffic NSW.

The Pacific Highway is closed in both directions.

Southbound traffic is being diverted by the Bruxner Hwy and Summerland Way, while northbound traffic is going via the Summerland Way and Bruxner Hwy.

Emergency services and Transport for NSW are still on scene.

"The salvage operation is expected to take until early Tuesday morning," Live Traffic reported.

The New England Hwy can also be used as an alternative route.

More to come.

 

 

The Pacific Highway has claimed countless lives. However, it wasn't until a major tragedy occurred before anyone would pay attention. Listen to Cowper, a podcast series that tells the full story:



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