A FATHER charged with the deaths of his wife and son in a horror crash near Walcha has fronted court in Tamworth for the first time.
Stephen George Russell, 58, was allegedly driving a Toyota Prado that was towing a caravan on the Oxley Highway when it struck a railing, rolled and slammed into a tree on January 3.
Lynette Marie Russell, 72, was in the front seat, and 38-year-old Stephen Leslie Russell, who was in the back seat, died at the scene as a result of their injuries.
Russell Snr is charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death and towing a vehicle too heavy for the towing attachment.
He is also charged with towed vehicle exceeds maximum laden weight; dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm; negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm; and trying to pervert the course of justice.
Russell did not enter a plea to any of the charges in Tamworth Local Court on Monday - the first time he has appeared since he was charged by crash investigators in June.
He was one of two people airlifted from the scene near Yarrowitch at about 1:30pm by Westpac Rescue Helicopter paramedics.
A 38-year-old woman, who was trapped in the wreckage for some time, suffered head and spinal injuries in the crash and was also airlifted to Tamworth hospital.
Specialist crash investigators spent hours examining the scene, the Toyota Prado and the caravan involved in the crash.
At the time police said one dog died in the incident while another survived.
It's believed the family had set off from Tamworth with the caravan and were headed east along the Oxley Highway on the afternoon of the crash.
Paramedics at the time described the accident as 'absolute carnage'.
The vehicle wreckage was towed from the scene for a mechanical examination by police.
Following extensive investigations, Russell was charged by the Oxley Crash Investigation Unit in June and had his driver's licence suspended.
The matter has been adjourned until August. Magistrate Julie Soars ordered Russell's bail to continue.