Highway Patrol issues warning after deaths of three men on Hunter roads in 24 hours

TRAGIC TOLL: Rutherford teenager Tim Cox died after his car crashed into a telegraph pole on Old Maitland Road at Bishops Bridge. Picture: MJF Productions Australia
TRAGIC TOLL: Rutherford teenager Tim Cox died after his car crashed into a telegraph pole on Old Maitland Road at Bishops Bridge. Picture: MJF Productions Australia

SENIOR police are pleading with motorists to take extra care on Hunter roads after the deaths of three men in the space of 24 hours.

With bad weather expected to persist at the weekend, motorists are being urged to avoid distractions and pull over if rainfall becomes too heavy.

The warning comes as the families of three men who died in separate accidents come to terms with their losses.

On Thursday night, a 47-year-old male motorbike rider became the Hunter’s latest crash victim, sustaining fatal head injuries after rear-ending a car turning right into a driveway on Clarence Town Road at Woodville.

Bulga father Patrick Magin was also killed on Thursday, as he dropped his daughter to school on Mitchell Line Road at Whittingham.

Rutherford teenager Tim Cox died on Old Maitland Road at Bishops Bridge after colliding with a telegraph pole on Wednesday night.

Northern Region traffic tactician Chief Inspector Bruce McGregor said all three tragedies “shouldn’t have happened”.

Chief Inspector McGregor said the lives of three families had been torn apart in a split second.

“When you think about the Mitchell Line Road crash, the roads are wet and we’ve seen a motorist on the incorrect side of the road,” he said on Friday.

“The result of that accident is a father who was killed and a mother who has been seriously injured.

“They were on their way to taking their daughter to school, and all of a sudden they’ve had a life-changing event.

“It should never have happened.”

Chief Inspector McGregor said motorists should take extra care behind the wheel, with slippery conditions predicted for at least the next week.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a dumping of up to 50 millimetres of rain and possible flash flooding on Saturday.

“[Motorists] should be driving safely to the prevailing conditions,” Chief Inspector McGregor said.

“If the roads are wet and there’s heavy rain falling, they should have their headlights on and be on alert.

“They shouldn’t be distracted by electronic devices and social media.

“And they should be in a position to stop suddenly if required, not afraid to pull over if the conditions become unsafe.”

The Northern Region is over-represented in the state’s road toll, accounting for 24 of the 64 fatalities on NSW roads, Chief Inspector McGregor said.

Of those fatal crashes, at least eight have occurred in the Hunter Region, with tragedies recorded at Singleton, Howes Valley, Sandy Hollow, Stroud, Aberdeen, Bishops Bridge, Woodville and Whittingham.

Seven of the eight deaths were men.