Police praise ‘quiet’ holiday

A 28-YEAR-OLD man suffered serious injuries in a single-vehicle crash on the New England Highway between Scone and Murrurundi.
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Rescuers cut the man from his vehicle, before the Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew him to John Hunter Hospital.

The accident occurred at Wingen at 6.20pm on Saturday.

‘‘His vehicle left the road, went down a bank, through a fence and rolled several times in a paddock,’’ Hunter Valley Police Sergeant Todd Hobson said.

The incident followed the death of Valentine teenager Mitchell Powell, who died in an accident on The Esplanade, Eleebana, at 10pm on Thursday.

As reported on Saturday, the 17-year-old was a passenger in a Honda Accord that collided with a Ford Falcon.

Newcastle Highway Patrol supervisor Sergeant Steven Rudd said the fatality was a black spot in an otherwise good weekend on Hunter roads.

‘‘It’s unbelievable how quiet it’s been,’’ Sergeant Rudd said.

‘‘People have been very well behaved and we hope it continues.’’

Sergeant Rudd said drink-driving offences were down by almost 50per cent, compared with last year.

He said police did 11,400 random breath tests in the region, with 13 drink-driving offences detected from the start of Operation Tortoise at midnight on Thursday to midnight Saturday.

‘‘People are perhaps getting the message not to drink and drive,’’ Sergeant Rudd said.

About 570 people were booked for speeding offences and 23 for not wearing seatbelts.

Speeding offences were up by about 5per cent compared with last year.

Sergeant Rudd said motorists now had a clearer run through Bulahdelah on the Pacific Highway, with roadworks having finished.

Motorists should expect delays at Hexham Bridge on Monday, as holiday traffic returned south, he said.

Sergeant Rudd urged people to be patient on the roads.

‘‘Take your time, don’t drive under the influence, be courteous to other road users and everyone will get home safe,’’ he said.

The Easter traffic blitz concludes at midnight Monday.