Boxing Day tragedies underscore road safety message

Boxing Day has been marred by tragedy after three people were killed and two critically injured in two separate traffic accidents within minutes of each other.

A husband and wife visiting from Fiji, both aged 70, died when a four-wheel-drive they were passengers in rolled on the Hume Highway shortly before 7am near Holbrook in south-east NSW.

Seven people were on board the seven-seater Nissan Patrol when it rolled about six kilometres north of Holbrook. The other five occupants were from the ACT. All are members of the same family.

Two were critically injured and were flown to hospitals in Canberra and Melbourne for treatment, including a 14-year-old boy. Three others suffered minor injuries.

Officers are investigating why the vehicle lost control and rolled. It has been towed for forensic examination.

In a separate incident, a man died in a two-car collision in Sydney’s north-west.

The two early-morning incidents bring the national Christmas holiday road toll to 13.

Five people have been killed in Victoria since December 23, while in South Australia, a motorist died when his car left the road and caught fire south-east of Adelaide. The death was the second in the state during the holiday period.

Tasmania and Western Australia have each recorded one death.

Police today repeated their pleas for motorists to drive responsibly and to the conditions.

CHRISTMAS ROAD CHAOS:

Driver crashes into four cars on Christmas Eve

Driver ends up in the drink

Man charged with 14 driving offences

A Line in the Sand: Road safety should never be overlooked

Meanwhile, South Australian Police today announced a blitz on reckless behaviour on the Murray River, conducting random breath testing and drug screening tests.

“We’ll (also) be paying particular attention to anyone skiing after sunset, operating a vessel without due care or not using appropriate safety equipment,” said Acting Superintendent Wayne Overmeyer.

“Jet skiers are consistently over represented in terms of safety breaches, so they will remain a focus of police attention.”

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