A TEENAGE apprentice has died after he was thrown from his van in a horrific two-vehicle accident near the Muswellbrook industrial estate yesterday.
Lachlan Rae, 17, was on his way to work when the Hiace van he was driving and a utility collided on Thomas Mitchell Drive just before 7am.
Within hours, more than 3000 people had gone to social networking sites to share their grief over the Branxton teenager’s death.
‘‘Lachlan, you’re going to be missed by so many people. It won’t be the same. You were taken away too young. Everyone loves you and misses you. Still can’t believe it, all of this just seems like a dream, you were the life of the party. Rest in peace mate,’’ Shayleen Walker wrote on a Facebook page.
It is believed the former student from All Saints College was thrown from his van as it rolled along the rural road, which connects the New England Highway with Denman Road.
Lachlan died at the scene.
The Mitsubishi Triton utility driver, 27, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Muswellbrook Hospital for blood and urine samples.
Hunter Valley duty officer Inspector Guy Guiana said the wreckage was horrific.
All Saints College principal Paul Greaves sent a letter out with students alerting parents to the tragedy.
One of Lachlan’s brothers is a student, and his younger brother is a pupil at a Branxton primary school.
‘‘Worst day in the world. I can’t believe what actually happened. The whole entire school was crying. RIP Lachlan Rae,’’ tweeted a person identified as Alyssa.
■ A MAN was treated for a fractured foot after a runaway truck tyre hit his car on the New England Highway near Muswellbrook on Monday night.
The collision with the tyre caused the man to drive his car up an embankment.
He was taken to Maitland Hospital in a stable condition.