Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

'Absolute horror': New South Wales highway reopens after seven vehicle crash

'Absolute horror': New South Wales highway reopens after seven vehicle crash

The Newell Highway is closed in both directions.

Two people are dead and eight have been taken to hospital hours after a horror crash in Central West New South Wales, with authorities describing the scene as "absolute carnage".

'One vehicle is believed to be completely crushed under a truck, ' she said.

Emergency crews were still trying to free two people from the wreckage more than three hours after the incident, but the final victim was freed about 4pm.

Superintendent Peter McKenna said specialist police will examine the vehicles involved, but it is too early to say exactly what happened.

Eight other people involved have been taken to hospital for treatment, including a two-year-old girl suffering a laceration to her leg.

Crash investigators and SafeWork NSW officers are en route to the scene.

"This will be a protracted investigation."

Earlier, Ambulance NSW Superintendent Kathy Golledge described the scene as "absolute carnage".

Police divert traffic from the scene of the crash near Dubbo.

"Beneath the uniforms, it doesn't matter what uniform we wear, we're human beings and you wouldn't be human if you weren't touched by these tragic events", he said.

NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the B-double truck failed to pull up at a stop sign and smashed into the line of vehicles.

'It is an absolute horror...

The Transport Workers' Union of NSW have released a statement slamming Pavey's comments as "heartless, arrogant and completely incompetent", and calling for the government to exercise "necessary shared responsibility" for recent increases in road fatalities. "This is a bad, awful crash", Ms Pavey told the ABC. But I wasn't able to grab them because they needed to be cut out'.

"We need trucks on our roads, but we need operators that are doing the right thing, and at this point I don't think that is the majority of heavy vehicle providers in Australia". In an interview broadcast on an ABC Radio News bulletin this morning, Pavey said "technology will be key to stopping further deaths and injury" on the road, and added that "the technology now is so advanced, a driver can be driving and get an electric shock if they look away from the windscreen for more than two seconds".

The compliance operation targeted 16 of the company's trucks for inspection, resulting in one major defect issued and a driver from Queensland having his driving privileges withdrawn for other traffic offenses.

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