Police have a working theory behind a fatal Central West crash which claimed one person's life.
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At about 6.15pm on Friday, September 16, emergency services were called to the Newell Highway near Alectown, about 24km north of Parkes, following reports of a crash.
On arrival, officers attached to Central West Police District were told two utes travelling in opposite directions had collided.
The driver of one of the vehicles - a 26-year-old man - was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics; however, he was unable to be revived.
The other driver - a 28-year-old man - was airlifted to hospital in a stable condition suffering non-life threatening injuries.
Three days after the crash, Acting Inspector for Macquarie Cluster Highway Patrol, Colin Sheil, shared additional details.
"Obviously we're investigating the circumstances and it looks like somebody has overtaken when they shouldn't have," he said.
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"So we need to be careful and look well ahead, not just think it's right to overtake when there's a truck in front of you or something like that."
The warning comes just days before a national public holiday to mourn the Queen's death, an event that has triggered the NSW Government to enforce double demerit points earlier than anticipated.
Double demerits will apply from 12:00am on Wednesday, September 21 until 11:59pm on Sunday, September 25. Double demerits will be in place for all speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.
This public holiday also coincides with the last week of school term, something Mr Sheil is well aware of.
"I wouldn't say it's an extended school holiday with this Thursday public holiday, but I dare say a lot of people will be taking it as a long weekend," he said.
"There's going to be extra traffic around and we are asking people to watch out and slow down.
"We're expecting a lot more traffic on the road. We are rearranging rosters and putting as many staff on the road as we can. We have a bit of extra funding for the weekend, so we will be out in numbers, that's for sure."
With students still expected to be at school on Wednesday and Friday this week, school zones will be in place.
Under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2017, double demerit periods automatically apply over a long weekend when a public holiday falls on a Thursday or Friday, or a Monday or Tuesday. The double demerit period extends to the day before a public holiday to account for an increase in road users, with many people taking the opportunity to enjoy a long weekend.
When asked what some of the main reasons for crashes could be, Mr Sheil said distractions and speed were "big contributing factors."
"There's also complacency in relation to people being in a hurry and then pulling out and not having a good look, or they get too close behind a truck, think they can see around it, but they really can't," he added.
"There's also the distances people are travelling and fatigue setting in. There's a lot of causal factors."
On the same day as the fatal Alectown crash, two more people died following a crash in Goolma Road - about 77km east of Dubbo - however Mr Sheil was unable to comment any further on this as it happened outside of of his district. A 29-year-old man - who was the driver of a Ford Falcon Ute - and a 63-year-old woman - a passenger travelling in a Toyota LandCruiser Prado - died at the scene in that instance.
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