Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times
Police generic, crime scene. Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times Tessa Mapstone

Tragedy of year's first fatal road crash

A COPMANHURST man has died from his injuries, after his car crashed into a tree at Pillar Valley.

Tragically, his death makes it the first road casualty in the Clarence Valley for 2017.

Police said the 65-year-old was travelling west along Wooli Rd at Pillar Valley about 8am Sunday when his vehicle veered off the road and into a tree.

Coffs/Clarence duty officer Inspector Tony Milner said there were no immediate witnesses to the crash, but members of the public, including motorists and nearby residents, tried to help the man.

Grafton police, ambulance and the State Emergency Service were called to the scene.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was also sent for, but returned to its Lismore base after paramedics confirmed the man had died at the scene.

A spokesman from Grafton Police station said crime scene investigators were at the scene investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

The fatality comes after several crashes already this year, including a semi-trailer that rolled onto its side at Clarenza on Friday afternoon.

Initial reports suggested the driver had failed to negotiate a turn from the Pacific Hwy onto Centenary Dr in wet conditions.

He was not injured in the crash, but HAZMAT crews were called in to clean up some oil and diesel spills.

Last year, at least 15 people died in crashes on Clarence Valley roads, triple the number of fatalities recorded in 2015.

Grafton duty officer Inspector Tony Milner said it was disappointing to hear of another road death so early in the year, and urged motorists to drive safely through our region.

"It's that time of year where family are together and travelling and we've lost another life on the roads," he said.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends."

In an effort to reduce this year's road toll, Insp Milner requested all road users to stick to the road rules and drive to the conditions.

"Wear your seatbelts, don't use your phones or drive tired," he said.

"If you're not familiar with the territory, drive accordingly. Remember, it's not a race."