A WOMAN and young boy who tragically died on the M1 at Cameron Park at the weekend were killed instantly after the woman went to the boy’s rescue.
Senior police believe the eight-year-old – who was in the care of Family and Community Services NSW – had run out onto the road after the Toyota Tarago they were travelling in pulled into the breakdown lane near the George Booth Drive exit shortly after 4.30pm.
The boy, from Woy Woy, and his carer, 27-year-old Cooranbong woman Rachel Martin, were killed when they were struck by a truck.
“What we do know yesterday was that a Tarago van was travelling south on the M1 at Cameron Park. They pulled into a breakdown bay,” Traffic and Highway Patrol Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said on Monday.
“The driver got out of the vehicle and opened the side door.
“At that stage, we believe an eight-year-old child has entered the roadway followed by a 27-year-old carer.
“Obviously both were killed, we believe instantly, when a pantech truck travelling south collided with both of those individuals.”
The truck driver, a 57-year-old man, was treated for shock and taken to John Hunter Hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.
“Obviously, the driver is taking it fairly hard,” Assistant Commissioner Smith told reporters.
The tragedy brought the state’s weekend road toll to nine, which includes the death of an elderly woman who was killed at Tuncurry on Saturday after her car left the road and slammed into private property.
Mr Smith said the majority of the fatalities were avoidable crashes caused by poor driver behaviour.
He said to call the fatalities a tragedy “is probably an understatement”.
“It is a tragic day for emergency services, but the nine deaths on the weekend would be affecting hundreds more,” Mr Smith said.
“There would be families who are grieving today. All of the investigations are under way and it’s critical we get to the bottom of them.”
Police and paramedics urged motorists to slow down in wet weather and leave a safe distance between the car in front.
“If you are not comfortable in heavy rain, pull over and wait for it to pass,” Mr Smith added.
A FACS spokeswoman acknowledged the tragedy at Cameron Park. “The death of any child is a tragedy,” she said. “As this is currently a police investigation, FACS is unable to comment further.”
Meanwhile, police were called to another accident at Cameron Park on Monday, with a car crashing on the Hunter Expressway exit ramp about 3pm.