POLICE said a friend made the horrific discovery of the body of a man thrown from a ute after he swerved to miss a kangaroo near Bingara.
Family became concerned for the 39-year-old when he failed to return home on Monday night, and a friend went to retrace his steps.
They found the crash scene shortly after 10pm after the Toyota Hilux crashed into a culvert, and rolled into a paddock, about 10km south of Bingara on the Fossickers Way.
“The Toyota Hilux utility has apparently swerved to miss a kangaroo, in doing so the driver appears to have lost control of the vehicle,” New England Inspector Chris McKinnon said.
“The victim appears to not have been wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle when the vehicle rolled.”
Police said the 39-year-old, who is believed to have been local to the Bingara area, was travelling north sometime between 6pm and 10pm when the crash occurred, but they can’t say exactly when.
“Family of the deceased were concerned for the welfare of the victim and a friend of the family retraced the utility’s last known movements and found the scene,” Inspector McKinnon said.
Police said the impact of the crash killed the kangaroo, which was found nearby.
The crash has prompted a warning from police to slow down in the current drought and don’t break harshly or swerve to miss wildlife like kangaroos.
Inspector McKinnon said given the drought, it was imperative motorists drive to the conditions and always wear a seatbelt.
“Police are urging all motorists to always wear a seatbelt, no matter where or when they are travelling,” Inspector McKinnon said.
“Given the current drought conditions, the kangaroos appear to be in large numbers around the roadways, so we would urge motorists to drive to the road conditions and don't break harshly.”
A report will now be prepared for the coroner.