Two utes – a Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton – crashed as heavy rain beat down on the Barton Highway, near Casuarina Lane, at Jeir, about 30km south-east of Yass, just north of the ACT, just before 7am today.
Two men in their 20s died at the scene and a surviving passenger was cut from the Ford, while both people in the Triton – a 52-year-old woman and 54-year-old man – were dead when emergency services arrived at the confronting scene.
The only survivor of the crash is now fighting for life at Canberra Hospital.
None of the victims have been formally identified, but NSW Police acting assistant commissioner Tracy Chapman said some were locals.
She said the cause of the crash is still unknown.
“Two cars with multiple deceased is no doubt a scene that is horrific,” she said from Newcastle.
“Ultimately our thoughts are with the family, the friends and the local community that will no doubt feel the impact of these deaths.”
The Barton Highway has now reopened in both directions after being forced closed for about seven hours. Live Traffic NSW said conditions in the area had returned to normal at about 2pm.
Police set up a crime scene at the crash site and have launched an investigation into the collision.
Anyone with dashcam vision or further information is urged to call police.
The deaths bring the state’s road toll for the Easter period up to six, following a deadly crash between a car and a motorbike rider.
About 9.30 this morning in the NSW Northern Rivers on Waterfall Way, Hernani – about 30km west of Dorrigo – the car and bike collided and the female rider died at scene.
The rider is yet to be formally identified but is believed to be aged in her 20s.
The driver of the car, a 23-year-old man, was not injured and was taken to Dorrigo Hospital for mandatory testing.
A single-car crash on Thursday morning was the first road fatality of the long weekend.
Chapman said police had already issued over 1700 driving infringements in their operation to reduce road trauma over the long weekend.
“We urge drivers to follow the rules,” she said.
“The message is pretty simple: drive to the speed limit, drive to the conditions, don’t drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”