Barton takes its toll

A good proportion of Yass Valley’s population was waiting in trepidation on Friday afternoon after news of another nasty accident on the Barton Highway.

A 27-year-old passenger from Holt died during surgery in Canberra Hospital after he was airlifted from the scene.

His name had not yet been released to the media yesterday.

The man had been travelling north in a grey Holden Commodore with a 58-year-old female driver when the accident happened on a stretch of road opposite the entrance to Capricorn Park Horse Stud Estate, near Murrumbateman.

Police said both people had to be cut free from the wreckage.

Their vehicle and a white Mitsubishi Magna travelling south had collided head-on at about 3pm.

The Magna was being driven by a 27-year-old Murrumbateman man, who was taken to Canberra Hospital with serious injuries to his right knee.

The Holt woman was also taken to Canberra Hospital suffering suspected internal injuries.

The hospital said they both remained in a stable condition yesterday.

Yass police said the impact forced the Commodore to spin and land in the centre of the highway. The Magna had been pushed off the roadway onto the western grassy verge.

The accident occurred about 50 metres shy of a southbound overtaking lane.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Police had yet to interview the two survivors.

Both lanes of the highway were closed for five hours during the usual evening peak period. Banked up commuters were redirected down Nanima and Murrumbateman roads.

Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the accident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Many Yass Valley residents commented on the Tribune's Facebook site worried about loved ones expected to be on the road at the time.

Barton statistics

Fairfax Media reports between 2006 and 2010, there were 132 recorded crashes on the highway, with 82 people injured or killed. A total of 32 per cent were injury crashes and five per cent were fatal.

Roads and Maritime Services was not able to provide more recent statistics and Transport for NSW did not respond to calls.

Goulburn police said they had recorded four fatalities on the Barton since 2010. Two people died in September 2010 and one in February 2010.

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