POLICE are investigating the circumstances surrounding a crash that claimed the life of a 49-year-old man at Uralla earlier this week.
Emergency services were called out to the New England Highway, about five kilometres north of Uralla, at 1.45am on Monday.
It is believed the man was driving north in a Ford sedan when it left the road, hitting a ditch and a number of fence posts.
The driver – the sole occupant of the car - was trapped in the wreckage for some time before rescue workers were able to free him.
He was taken to Armidale Hospital but later died of his injuries. Police have not yet released his name.
It is the second fatality on that stretch of road in a matter of weeks, after Uralla man Lachlan David Thomas, 21, was killed on September 19.
Mr Thomas, who was a promising superbike rider, died instantly when his ute left the highway and crashed a couple of kilometres from this latest fatality.
New England highway patrol sergeant Dave Bramble described the deaths as a terrible loss for the Uralla community.
“A lot of accidents are due to speed or are alcohol-related but we’re also finding that fatigue is playing a big part in a lot of accidents, which is why we really push for people to take a break and revive,” he said.
“It’s heart-wrenching when anyone is killed on the roads and to lose two people in a matter of weeks defies comprehension.”
Uralla mayor Michael Pearce said the latest fatality was a bitter blow to a community still recovering from Mr Thomas’ passing.
“I’m sure that we’ll dig down deep like we usually do – like any small town – and rally support together for each other and the relatives,” he said.
Investigators, who are preparing a report for the coroner, have asked that anyone with information about the incident to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000, or by logging on to www.police.nsw.gov.au