A head-on crash involving a ute and a commercial light truck has resulted in the death of one man and the hospitalisation of another.
Police say that around 14:00 on January 12 a Proton utility was heading towards Macquarie Pass on the Illawarra Highway when it was involved in a collision with a Toyota Dyna.
Emergency services were called to the scene shortly afterwards, where they found the driver of the ute – a 41-year-old man – dead of his injuries.
The truck's sole occupant – a 22-year-old man – was injured in the accident and was subsequently trapped in the cab of his wrecked vehicle for more than an hour.
Officers from the Police Rescue unit worked to free the victim while family and work colleagues gathered to offer the young driver support.
Once he was clear of the wreckage, paramedics were able to stabilise the man at the scene, before calling in an emergency helicopter to transfer him to St George Hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
The initial cause of the accident is not yet clear, but the fact that the Proton was in an unrecognisable state and the weighty Toyota ended up on the roadside with its cabin smashed in speaks of a high-energy impact.
While investigations are continuing, acting inspector Matthew Brophey of the Lake Illawarra police told reporters from the Illawarra Mercury on January 13 that speed "was not a factor" in the accident as far as the truck was concerned, but it was not clear how fast the ute had been travelling.
Speaking on the events that led up to the incident, Brophey asserted: "[The ute driver] failed to negotiate a right-hand bend … and lost control on the shoulder of the road.
"It is believed that he overcorrected and crossed on to the incorrect side of the road, where he collided head-on with an oncoming truck."
It is understood that the arterial roadway has a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour and is not divided by a nature strip or safety barriers.
Police closed the highway for a period of five hours to allow specialist forensic crash investigators to examine the scene before salvage crews were called in to clear the debris.
In cases where the driver who was not at fault in a collision is injured, they are able to claim car accident compensation.
These payments can help individuals to cover the cost of medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies and other related expenses.
A car accident lawyer is able to assist victims by giving them access to the legal expertise they need to maximise their claims.