Man dies in crash at Cliftleigh

An elderly man is dead after a vehicle, being driven by his son, left the road and hit a power pole in Cliftleigh, south of Maitland. 

Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit commander, Sergeant Peter Stace, said police would examine how the man, 70, died despite being seated in the back seat of his son’s Kia Cerato.

The driver, 28, and his father were both trapped after their vehicle crashed head-on into a power pole in Main Road about 12.40pm on Saturday. 

Emergency services, including paramedics, Central Hunter police and the Cessnock District Volunteer Rescue Association,  worked to free both men from the car.

A rescue association spokesman said rescue personnel used hydraulic spreaders and cutters to remove the driver’s side of the vehicle before helping paramedics remove the elderly man from the vehicle. 

The man, who sustained critical injuries, was taken by ambulance to Maitland Hospital where he later died. 

His son was flown to John Hunter Hospital by Westpac rescue helicopter with minor injuries.

A Hunter New England Health spokeswoman said he was in a stable condition last night.  

Sergeant Stace said initial inquiries indicated the Cerato, which was towing a trailer, was travelling north on Main Road when it left the road. 

He did not believe speed was a factor in the crash. 

Police were yet to interview the 28-year-old driver last night and Sergeant Stace said it was unclear why the elderly man was seated in the back seat, despite there being no passenger in the front seat. 

Main Road was closed for several hours on Saturday during the rescue  and while the crash investigation unit examined the scene. 

Investigations into the circumstances of the crash are continuing.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800333000. 

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