TWO men have died in separate crashes and another has had a lucky escape in what's been a busy weekend for police on local roads.
By Sunday night, three people had been killed across the state - two in crashes on New England roads.
A 71-year-old man was the latest to lose his life after his car slammed into a tree near Inverell on Saturday morning.
Emergency services rushed to the Gwydir Highway about 11am to find the wreckage of the Ford Falcon.
The man, who was the only one in the car, was killed after the station wagon lost control, left the road and rolled, slamming into a tree.
The day before, a 43-year-old man was killed after his Toyota Rav 4 collided head-on with an oncoming Holden Commodore on the outskirts of Tamworth.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash which critically injured a 34-year-old man. He underwent emergency surgery after being flown to John Hunter Hospital on Friday morning.
A passenger in the Rav 4 suffered minor injuries.
Police said another man was lucky to be alive after walking from the wreckage of his ute which was found wrapped around a tree near Tamworth on Friday night.
The ute was barely recognisable after the cabin was crushed when it crashed on Tintinhull Road at Tintinhull.
The man managed to climb out of the wreckage and suffered just bruising and scratches.
He was taken to Tamworth hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing with police investigating whether alcohol, speed or fatigue was a factor in the crash.
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old man has been slapped with a hefty fine and loss of demerit points after allegedly being caught with seven passengers in his station wagon which was stopped by officers on Edward Street in Tamworth.
Highway officers spotted the Ford about 12.30am on Saturday and police allege the man had five passengers unrestrained and two travelling in the rear boot area.
He was issued tickets for driving with four or more unrestrained passenger, not complying with P1 passenger restrictions after 11pm while his passengers copped infringements for not wearing seatbelts and being carried in an area that is not fitted for passengers.
About 30 minutes later, police were called after reports of a person riding on the roof of a car in Kable Avenue, Tamworth.
Officers stopped a Holden Commodore and a 37-year-old woman behind the wheel was breath tested.
She failed a roadside test and later allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.081.
She was charged with mid-range drink driving and had her licence suspended.
Operation Tortoise - the force's double demerit blitz to police the roads over the Easter long weekend - will wrap up at midnight on Monday.